Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Review: Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith

Description (from cover):

'Jane Lambert, the quick-witted and alluring daughter of a silk merchant, is twenty-two and sill unmarried. When Jane's father finally finds her a match, she's married off to the dull, older silk merchant William Shore. Marriage doesn't stop Jane from flirtation, however, and when the king's chamberlain, Will Hastings, comes to her husband's shop, Will knows King Edward will find her irresistible. 

Edward IV has everything: power, majestic bearing, superior military leadership, a sensual nature, and charisma. And with Jane as his mistress, he also finds true happiness. But when his hedonistic tendencies get in the way of being the strong leader England needs, his life, as well as those of Jane and Will Hastings, hangs in the balance. Jane must rely on her talents to survive as the new monarch, Richard III, bent on reforming his brother's licentious court, ascends the throne. 

This dramatic tale has been an inspiration to poets and playwrights for five hundred years, and, as told through the unique perspective of a woman plucked from obscurity and thrust into a life of notoriety, Royal Mistress is sure to enthrall today's historical fiction lovers as well.'

My thoughts:

For some reason this book seemed to drag on and never end. I had a hard time staying focused and I spent more time wishing it would be over soon than enjoying the actual tale. I find Jane to be a fascinating historical character, but this book was way too long and the story could have been shortened considerably. I had forgotten that Anne Easter Smith tends to ramble on and when I realized my mistake, I was already drawn into the story of Jane and her loving relationship with the amorous King Edward IV. Still the story could have been cut short in so many places, that it just didn't seem that it would end.

It's hard not to admire Jane Shore and her humble beginnings. She was the daughter of the merchant class and her beauty and wit set her apart from the rest of her class and made her noticeable by none other than the King of England. It was interesting to read more about her and her relationship with this king and how Queen Elizabeth was envious of her. Smith does a fantastic job of relating historical fact and weaving it with fiction. The only complaint was that this book was way too long. 

I think that if the author had stuck to the main points and not dragged on so much about King Richard III and the princes in the tower and the ups and downs with Queen Elizabeth, that this book really could  have been more enjoyable. I understand that the author really wanted the reader to understand the realities of what was going on during this time, but I would have liked to see more of Jane's interaction with the king and less of what else was going on at the same time. A good read to a certain extent, but one that seems to be forgettable.

Overall Rating: 2

Title:  Royal Mistress
Author:  Anne Easter Smith
Series:  N/A
Publisher:  Touchstone
Publication Date:  May 7, 2013
Pages:  512
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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