Title: Queen By Right
Author: Anne Easter Smith
Published Date: May 3, 2011
Source: Received as part of a virtual book tour through Crazy Book Tours
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "In Cecily Neville, duchess of York and ancestor of every English monarch to the present day, she has found her most engrossing character yet.History remembers Cecily of York standing on the steps of the Market Cross at Ludlow, facing an attacking army while holding the hands of her two young sons. Queen by Right reveals how she came to step into her destiny, beginning with her marriage to Richard, duke of York, whom she meets when she is nine and he is thirteen. Raised together in her father’s household, they become a true love match and together face personal tragedies, pivotal events of history, and deadly political intrigue. All of England knows that Richard has a clear claim to the throne, and when King Henry VI becomes unfit to rule, Cecily must put aside her hopes and fears and help her husband decide what is right for their family and their country."
My Two Cents:
Cecily Neville definitely came before her time. There's nothing more she enjoyed than a good hunt. Even though her marriage is arranged to Richard Plantagenet, she and Richard find true love together. Their love is really amazing to watch grow and mature. As many readers and students of past royalty know, this is seems to be quite unusual. She's definitely a strong character and one that I rooted through throughout the book. I really loved her character.
Another interesting thing that I found was how Smith has Cecily meet the infamous Jeanne d'Arc, another historical figure that I'm very interested in. Although Smith admits that there is no documentation of them actually meeting other than that they happened to be in the same castle at the same time, it's interesting to see the meeting of a member of royalty (Cecily) and a peasant girl (Jeanne). I really enjoyed that part of the novel.
Cecily is a different kind of character than many in typical historical fiction novels. She's strong and she really has a hand in her own fate, a choice that so many heroines in this age did not have. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Cecily.
Bottom line: This book is perfect for those who wish to read a historical fiction where the damsel is not always in distress.
4 out of 5 stars