Friday 5 April 2019

#Bookreview — The King's Mother (Beaufort Chronicles #3) #HistoricalFiction #Tudors @JudithArnopp

The King's Mother:
 Book Three of The Beaufort Chronicle
By Judith Arnopp

October 1485. With the English crown finally in his possession, Henry Tudor’s endeavours to restore order to the realm are hindered by continuing unrest. While the king is plagued with uprisings and pretenders to his throne, Margaret in her capacity as The King’s Mother oversees the running of his court. 

The warring houses of York and Lancaster are united, the years of civil strife are at an end but, as the royal nursery fills with children, the threats to Henry’s throne persist and Margaret’s expectation of perfect harmony begins to disintegrate.
As quickly as Henry dispatches those whose move against him, new conflicts arise and, dogged by deceit and the harrowing shadow of death, Margaret realises that her time for peace has not yet come.

Intrigue, treason and distrust blights the new Tudor dynasty, challenging Margaret’s strength of character and her steadfast faith in God.

The King’s Mother is the third and final book in The Beaufort Chronicles, tracing the life of Margaret Beaufort.

“I have always imagined that once Henry was safely in possession of his throne, our trials would be trivial, or vanish altogether. I never envisaged anything as horrible as this…”

Lady Margaret Beaufort had waited her whole life for this. It had been fourteen very long years since she had last seen her son. But now the impossible has happened. Henry has won the crown in the bloody fields of Bosworth, and now he was by the Grace of God, King of England and France and Lord of Ireland. Henry’s reign would be one of peaceful unity.

But for a country that has lived in the shadow of a savage civil war for so long, peace does not come easily. There will always be those who smile in the sunlight and yet, whisper words of treachery in the shadows. The early years of Henry’s reign would see him fight to keep his newly acquired crown.

Margaret knows this is not a time to be weak. It is a time for strength and steadfastness. The Tudor dynasty would endure, no matter what.

From the grandeur of Henry’s coronation at Westminster Abbey to his demise at Richmond Palace, The King’s Mother: Book Three of The Beaufort Chronicle by Judith Arnopp is the shamelessly compelling story of the latter part of Lady Margaret Beauforts life and the reign of Henry VII.

I was so looking forward to reading Book 3 of The Beaufort Chronicles, and I am pleased to say that Arnopp did not disappoint. Arnopp has crafted not only an immensely readable retelling of Henry VII reign, but she has also created an exceptionally appealing character in Margaret. I adored Arnopp’s interpretation of Margaret, she has not portrayed her as a cold and unfeeling woman, as many historical fiction authors do, but as a warm and loving mother and grandmother, who only wants what is best for her family and the country that she loves. Margaret is a stickler for rules and is nobodies fool, but I think that is what made her all the more appealing. I think Arnopp’s interpretation of Margaret is by far more believable than others that I have read.

Arnopp has taken great pains to stick to the documented history of this period. This was a time of rebellions and pretenders, who threatened Henry’s rule. At the same time, Henry was desperately trying to bring unity between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. It was a terrible struggle for him and one that is not always appreciated. Whether you like it or not, Henry did bring an end to this bitter rivalry, and he proved that he had what it took to be a very strong and on the most part, successful King.

When you mention the name Tudor, one automatically thinks of Henry VIII or Elizabeth I, but Henry VII is just as fascinating. Henry lives in the shadows of his son for the wrong reasons. Henry is vastly different from his son. Anropp has given us a very calm and collected character in Henry VII, who struggle with the responsibilities that comes with being the king. I thought Arnopps interpretation of Henry was brilliant. The young Arthur is also portrayed as having the same calm temper as his father. This book did make me wonder what history would have been like if Arthur had lived and ruled instead of his brother. Can you imagine that? No Henry VIII. No controversy.

Nevertheless, we cannot get away from Henry VIII. In the pages of this book, he is conceived, and he grows into a very boisterous and flamboyant young man who longs for adventure and sport. He resents having to learn to be a king when his brother dies. Politics does not interest him, hunting and jousting do. Henry has temper tantrums, he is very good at sulking, but he can also be incredibly caring and feels things very deeply. Arnopp has captured the young Henry very well, and she has undoubtedly paved the way for the king he was to become.

Told in the first person from Margaret’s perspective, Arnopp brings fresh eyes to this thoroughly documented time in history and gives it life. The fear that Margaret has, as Queen Elizabeth did as well, that Perkin Warbeck, was, in fact, Richard, Duke of York which would have made him Elizabeths brother, was approached with incredible sensitivity. Margaret does not want Perkin to be Richard, because she loved Richard, but she is torn because if he is Richard, it would be a disaster for her son and her grandchildren. This terrible conflict that Margaret feels was masterfully written.

I enjoyed Margaret, the grandmother. She is a very loving lady, who adores her grandchildren and in return they adore her. I was so happy for her that at last she is surrounded by children, which was from the very beginning what she wanted. I could not help but like her.

Margaret is not a vain woman, but I enjoyed some lighter moments when she reflects upon her appearance and how she dresses. She knows she has never been a great beauty, but Arnopp has given her a very beautiful soul, which shines through the pages of the book so brightly. She is a very compassionate woman, which may surprise those who are more used to Margaret being very cold and stern. I think Arnopp's interpretation of her is lovely. Arnopp is one of those writers who can make history come alive and breathe life into characters that have long been dead.

If you are a fan of the Tudor era, then The Beaufort Chronicle should definitely be on your to-read list, and even if you know nothing about the War of the Roses and the rise of the Tudors, but are interested, then this series is also the one for you. You can learn a lot about this era while reading this series, and the storytelling is sublime. You will not be disappointed.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.

Pick up your copy of
The King's Mother:
 Book Three of The Beaufort Chronicle

Judith Arnopp

Judith Arnopp is the author of ten historical novels including The Winchester Goose, The Beaufort Chronicle (three book series), The Kiss of the Concubine and A Song of Sixpence. You can find her on Facebook • Twitter • Website  • Blog. 

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your award, Judith!


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx