The Stolen Crown

The Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England - Susan Higginbotham Ever since I read a review of Hugh and Bess I have wanted to read Higginbotham, so when I got the chance I jumped at it. And I am happy to say that I did the right thing.First of all I must say that she sure did an excellent job keeping all the different Edwards and Henrys and so on apart. I went in after having studied the long lists of names in the beginning and wondered how this would turn out. But she kept track of them all and she made sure that I as the reader could keep track of them all. Cos oh yes the War of the Roses was a messy time, and then I am not only talking about all the people. The twist and turns, the constant backstabbing, I am amazed that any nobleman got through all that without loosing his head, one way or another. And of course this book made me google, yes I could just not sit and read, I had to go google everyone so I would know things before they happened. Things that had happened long ago, trace lineages, oh this book was a treat for the history addict that I am. You know what, I will go google again after this. I want to know more, because even if I knew things (evil Richard screaming my kingdom for a horse), that was pretty much it.This book takes place at the center stage but at the same time not on it. It is the story about Katherine Woodville. Her sister married king Edward IV and that shook the country. They thought she was too lowborn, which in a way does not make much sense, except for on her fathers side. But certain people had other plans for the king. Then he married away her siblings and Katherine became Duchess of Buckingham. Fast forward a bit, fighting with the Neville family, fighting with his brother the duke of Clarence, fighting with the French, fighting with the old king and his entourage, and then he died. Which leads to the princes in the Tower, Richard III, and England's savior Henry Tudor. Then finally the civil war could end and York and Lancaster was reunited. This all the reader experiences through Kate's and Harry's eyes.Higginbotham managed to bring forth a troubled time in England's history and make it come alive. I love an author that can do that, and she did an excellent job. She made me want to know more, and history felt so real. I really liked Kate, and I felt kind of sorry for her because some historian hasn't really had nice things to say about her, they made her marriage sound awful, and of course there are tons of rumors about her family. Witchcraft and so on. But after the way Richard III seized the throne no wonder. And she kept her hope up even after loosing so many of her kin. I truly liked the way she was shown. Same goes with Harry, even if he made some foolish choices. And it was nice to follow them from when they were kids. And they have such a nice life together, I liked their lovestory. In the end no one can tell what really happened in their marriage, but I do believe this story.Higginbotham stayed true to the era with everything. She has done her research and it shows. She managed to incorporate the rumors for what they were, rumors about "famous" people.I am happy to have read this book, and after such a great historical book I really feel that I must read her previous novel, Hugh and Bess. This is a book that history fans will enjoy a great deal.For the rest of you, well this story has romance, betrayal, war, backstabbing, political intrigue, wicked rumors and all those other things that any reader loves to read about. This book is for everyone in that aspect. Oh and you learn a lot!Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: It feels like the genreReason for reading: A copy from the publisherFinal thoughts: I recommend it