Sunday, June 9, 2013

Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith

Royal Mistress. Anne Easter Smith. Touchstone Books. May 2013. 489 pp. pbk. ISBN #: 9781451648621.

Jane Shore lived a harsh life! Rejected by her father, married to an impotent mercer, loved by many men but chosen by King Edward, she was grateful for the favors of her King.  Londoners and members of the Court grew to respect her because of her many acts of charity and care for those far less fortunate.  Jane is not one to involve herself in the political intrigues and betrayals of the Court, but she does relate them without bias.  After Edward's untimely end due to his own decadent lifestyle, Jane is accused of crimes that force her to undergo public penance; the accuser is Edward's brother, Richard, first Protector of the heir and then King after Edward's children are proven to be illegitimate.  Richard is given an interesting portrayal in this novel; determined to "clean up" the Court he is extremely harsh.  We also get an interesting take on the "disappearance" of the two Princes and an amazing execution ordered without the granting of a trial to Jane's second lover.  Yes, everything herein has been presented in other novels, but Anne Easter Smith's comprehensive depiction of all the significant characters and their alliances and betrayals is fascinating and unique.  Very, very well written and presented!  Highly recommended!

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