Saturday, June 14, 2014

Cicely's King Richard by Sandra Heath Wilson

One of the best stories of King Richard and Cicely I've ever read!

It is 1483, and the children of the late Yorkist King Edward IV have been declared illegitimate by their own uncle, the new King Richard III. His second niece, Lady Cicely Plantagenet, hardly knows her uncle, but from the outset is fiercely drawn to this charismatic man, with whom she shares tremendous affinity and rarest of all, his trust. But there will be complete, unconditional passion and the loss of all innocence for Cicely before Richard has to defend his realm, his cause and his life against the invading force of the Lancastrian pretender, Henry Tudor, at the Battle of Bosworth Field. A new and compassionate look at the much-maligned, misunderstood Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Sandra Heath Wilson explores the intensity and sensitivity of history's 'wicked' King and his illicit relationship with his young niece: the perceptive and enticing Cicely. The first in an impressive historical trilogy.

Cicely Plantagenet was known for her feisty spirit, acerbic speech, and gutsy behaviour. She was the daughter of King Edward IV and the story opens shortly after his death when she and her mother and siblings sought sanctuary at Westminster Abbey alongside her siblings and mother, the former Queen Elizabeth Woodville. According to history, Cicely and her sister loved their uncle Richard III, who later became king of England. Throughout history, rumours have abounded that Cicely and Richard were more than niece and uncle; they were in fact, lovers. Their illicit love is the basis for this trilogy based on Cicely’s tumultuous life.

Not only did Sandra Heath Wilson have the courage to take on this incestuous love story, but she did a brilliant job of it. Her characterization of Cicely was outstanding, utterly fascinating. Richard was also beautifully portrayed as a kind, fair man, a hero that readers will instantly fall in love with. He never desired the crown of England, but his sense of duty and honor made it impossible to refuse. The storyline was compelling from start to finish, gripping and fascinating. The story is beautifully told, heart-wrenching at times, joyous at others. There are numerous twists and turns, villains, political subterfuges, and of course, the never-resolved issue of who kidnapped Cicely’s young brothers. Impeccable research coupled with outstanding detail and intense dialogue truly bring the 15th century alive in the reader’s mind.

The book has been released in the UK, and will be released in September 2014 here in North America. It is available for pre-order. I am eagerly awaiting CICELY’S SECOND KING and CICELY’S LORD LINCOLN, the second and third book in this series. Definitely worth reading! Highly recommended for those who love English history. Don't miss this series!

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