You may have heard of my anglophilic tendencies before, I LOVE historical fiction revolving around the English royals! There are some who fascinate me more than others, namely Anne Boleyn, but part of this story also deals with one of the greatest mysteries in my opinion: what happened to the two little princes in the Tower? Elizabeth Woodville and Edward's sons.
I'd already 'met' most of the players in The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory, but I'd never heard of Jane Shore before and I must admit that she's a fascinating historical figure! It's not every day that you come across a woman who not only held the interest of England's king for 8 years as his mistress, but also went on to be the mistress to two other influential men and finally marry another!
Jane is very much a victim of her time period, because she is completely dependent on the men in her life to provide for her. I really felt for her when her first husband turned out to be impotent, because Jane was so ready to be a mother! I liked that she's bold enough to seek an annulment because of it. I liked that she never forgot where she came from and tried to help the people who used to be her neighbours when she could.
I'm kinda glad Edward is depicted as a loving scoundrel, because from everything I've learned of him, I can truly believe that's exactly what he was. He may not always have made the best decisions, particularly regarding his dealings with Eleanor Butler, but I believed he was a good man at heart and for some reason royalty always seems prone to infidelity, not that that makes it any better.
I'd seen most of the events through Anne Neville's eyes in The Kingmaker's Daughter, and seeing it through Jane's added that extra dimension to it. I love all the intrigue and was truly scared a couple of times for Jane's life. Losing your head was all too easy back then. There were a couple of surprises, but mostly I was just anxiously waiting on some stuff to happen and wondering what would happen to Jane because of said things.
Anne Easter Smith truly made me care for this remarkable woman and I loved the bits of poetry that Jane seems to sprout of the top of her head, they were very clever. I did think that some of the 'bad guys' were a bit one-dimensional, but most of the historical figures really came to life through her writing and I love that! These were real people and it's easy to forget that and just focus on the battles and murders instead of the men and women behind it.
My rating: 3,5 stars