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Friday, February 22, 2013

HF Virtual Book Tours Review and Giveaway: Thwarted Queen by Cynthia Sally Haggard

Title: Thwarted Queen
Author: Cynthia Sally Haggard
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Self-published
Publish Date: October 29, 2012
Source: HF Virtual Book Tour

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a historical fiction fan.
What's the Story?:

From "THWARTED QUEEN is a portrait of a woman trapped by power, a marriage undone by betrayal, and a King brought down by fear.

Cecylee is the apple of her mother’s eye. The seventh daughter, she is the only one left unmarried by 1424, the year she turns nine. In her father’s eyes, however, she is merely a valuable pawn in the game of marriage. The Earl of Westmorland plans to marry his youngest daughter to 13-year-old Richard, Duke of York, who is close to the throne. He wants this splendid match to take place so badly, he locks his daughter up.

The event that fuels the narrative is Cecylee’s encounter with Blaybourne, a handsome archer, when she is twenty-six years old. This love affair produces a child (the “One Seed” of Book II), who becomes King Edward IV. But how does a public figure like Cecylee, whose position depends upon the goodwill of her husband, carry off such an affair? The duke could have locked her up, or disposed of this illegitimate son.

But Richard does neither, keeping her firmly by his side as he tries to make his voice heard in the tumultuous years that encompass the end of the Hundred Years War - during which England loses all of her possessions in France - and the opening phase of the Wars of the Roses. He inherits the political mantle of his mentor Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, and become’s the people’s champion. The rambunctious Londoners are unhappy that their country has become mired in misrule due to the ineptitude of a King prone to fits of madness. Nor are they better pleased by the attempts of the King’s French wife to maneuver herself into power, especially as she was responsible for England’s losses in France. But can Richard and Cecylee prevail? Everywhere, their enemies lurk in the shadows."

My Two Cents:

"Thwarted Queen" is the story of Cecylee, mother of Richard III (yes, the same one that was recently discovered to be buried under a car park) and a major player in the War of the Roses. Cecylee has always been a really fascinating historical figure to me. She was incredibly driven to make sure that her descendants ended up on England's throne but in the end, her drive and her habit of trouncing on people ends up making a lot of trouble for herself.

Because she's such a fascinating figure, I loved reading more about Cecylee. There are several other books that have recently come out about her recently (Queen by Right by Anne Easter Smith comes to mind). It's easy to see why so many people are so drawn to learning and writing about Cecylee. "Thwarted Queen" covers from her late childhood until the end of her life. The book gives a good picture of her life. I especially liked the beginning of the book where we get to see what Cecylee's life was like before the War of the Roses. It was interesting to see where she came from as well as how her marriage to Richard, the Duke of York, was arranged.

This book is divided up into several books, which I wish that I had known before I started reading the book. You don't find out that the book is really supposed to be broken into separate books until the author's note at the very end of the book. The books are laid out in chronological order but each of them have very different feelings and layouts, which was a little discombobulating when reading the books all together. I found the books told from Cecylee's first person point of view to be more compelling. The first book is the most story like. The other books are more telling rather than showing. There is a lot of rattling off of facts and dates and not a lot of story arc. I found myself wanting to know more about Cecylee's feelings about things.

Overall: An interesting read about Cecylee, the Duchess of York.


Win a copy of Thwarted Queen (US only)! Fill out the form below!

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Don't Forget to Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Monday, February 11
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading

Tuesday, February 12
Review at The Book Garden

Wednesday, February 13
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Thursday, February 14
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Friday, February 15
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Guest Post at Flashlight Commentary
Monday, February 18
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review & Giveaway at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Tuesday, February 19
Interview & Giveaway at The Lit Bitch
Wednesday, February 20
Review at A Book Geek
Thursday, February 21
Review at Psychotic State Book Reviews
Feature & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court

Friday, February 22
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Monday, February 25
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Tuesday, February 26
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Interview & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, February 27
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, February 28
Author Guest Post at A Chick Who Reads
Friday, March 1
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews


  1. This books sounds very interesting, I love books from the old, sounds like a mystery, love story, you could use your own imagaination.

  2. The story is new to me and I would certainly like to read it at sometime.I know nothing of this Queen.

  3. I knew nothing about Cecily or the War of Roses era until last month when I read a book by another author. Now I really want to read this one!

  4. I felt the same way about this one. It started good but by the end I fest like it was just rattling off facts of what had happened. I would have liked to have learned more about Ceclyee's thoughts and feelings at the end as well.

  5. A fascinating and great review which captivated my interest. thanks for this chance. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. I love historical fiction, cool post:)

  7. I have always wanted to know more about Cecyclee's (interesting spelling of her name) life. She seems to me to be a strong woman and defended her family well.

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  9. I love reading about English royalty. I don't, however, know how I feel about one book being broken into smaller books. I prefer for one book to produce one story not many.

    Thanks for the giveaway and review!

    mestith at gmail dot com

  10. thank you for this giveaway!!!
    i love reading historical fictions, so this book would be something i am interested in........

    cyn209 at juno dot com


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