Thursday, March 25, 2010

Book Review of The Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage That Forever Changed The Fate of England by Susan Higginbotham

The Stolen Crown: The secret marriage that forever changed the fate of England

The blurb:
Trapped in the War of the Roses, one woman finds herself sister to the queen. Katherine Woodville's sister never gave her a choice. A happy girl of modest means, Kate hardly expected to become a maker of kings. But, when her sister impulsively marries King Edward IV in secret, Katherine's path is no longer hers to control.

Kate is matched with Harry Stafford, poised to be the richest duke in England. But his Lancastrian blood prevents him from gaining royal favor, and so he turns to the king's brother, Richard of Gloucester. Kate, wary of Richard's influence, cautions her beloved. But when at long last power comes courting, it cannot be stopped....

Though I love historical fiction and history, I don't have a strong grasp of the War of the Roses. There were moments with the different Henries in The Stolen Crown that I wished that knew more about this time period. Having said that, the book is friendly and accessible to those of us who have a minimum grasp of the key characters.

The story is told from the points of view of Kate Woodville and her husband Henry Stafford and begins at key points in their childhood. The early part of the book draws you in with the details of their young lives, their engaging personalities and the sheer importance of the events around them. Kate stumbles upon the wedding of her elder sister and the young King Edward IV. Harry finds himself duke and "playmates" with Richard, Duke of Gloucester.

However engaging the beginning of The Stolen Crown may be, I enjoyed the latter part of the story best. For once I got to know Kate's Woodville relatives, I couldn't help but like them. The intrigue, action and drama heightens as the War of the Roses develops - and reading about these events from the perspective of Kate and Harry gives the story an added emotional draw. I don't want to ruin your reading with spoilers but Susan Higginbotham uses foreshadowing to great advantage! If you enjoy historical fiction - do check out The Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage That Forever Changed The Fate of England by Susan Higginbotham.

ISBN-10: 1402237669 - Paperback $14.99
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; 1 edition (March 1, 2010), 400 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author, courtesy of the publisher:
Award-winning Susan Higginbotham's expertly researched historical fiction delights readers. Higginbotham has worked as an editor and an attorney, and she lives in Apex, North Carolina, with her family. Learn more about her at her website at

Thank you so much to Danielle and SourceBooks for this review opportunity!


  1. This one really seems to be getting good reviews--and introducing a lot of people to a period of time they were unfamiliar with. I'm going to have to pick it up.