Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The King's Grace

The King's Grace  by Anne Easter Smith

   The King's Grace is a great book by Anne Easter Smith about the illegitimate daughter of King Edward IV, Grace Plantagenet.  She is a woman who is barely recorded in English history.  This left lots of room for Anne Easter Smith to tell Grace's story and to link her with Perkin Warbeck, a young man who claims to be one of the boys in the tower.  The boys in the tower are the sons of King Edward IV.  They were put in the tower by their uncle Richard, when he became King of England.  The boys were never seen again and no one knows what happened to them, no one claimed to kill them and their bodies were never found.  To this day, what happened to them remains a mystery.

   Grace Plantagenet is the illegitimate daughter of King Edward IV, she was raised in a convent by nuns and eventually taken in by King Edward IVs widow, Elizabeth Woodville.  After King Edward IVs death, Elizabeth goes into sanctuary and takes in Grace.  Grace stays in the care of Elizabeth for many years, learning about the family and trying to stay in power.  Grace forms a bond with Elizabeth and her daughters and feels that she needs to solve the mystery of her half brothers.
    Grace had never been recognized as a princess like her sisters, because she is illegitimate.  She will never hold the importance they have and will probably never have a great marriage like they will.  When Elizabeth's daughter marries, Henry Tudor, things start to look up for Elizabeth Woodville and her young ward.  Things quickly turn and Elizabeth Woodville is force out of court and sent to an Abbey.  They are living like peasants with little belongings, poor clothing and no contact with the court.   Grace hopes for the day when she can get out of the Abbey.

    The fight for the York's has not ended at this point.  There are people claiming that one of Edward IVs boys is alive and has been spotted throughout Europe.  The woman behind this story and these sightings is Grace's Aunt Margaret of York, the sister of King Edward IV.   Grace travels to Burgundy to meet her Aunt and to find out what she can for Elizabeth Woodville.  Grace learns that this man, Richard, is her half brother.  She has this feeling that he is who he says he is.  Being that Grace has no knowledge of him at all, except for what people have told her she has no choice but to believe his story.

    With finding out about Richard, who many call Perkin Warbeck, she is back at the Tudor court and with her sisters.  She end up marring a young man whom she knew when she was a young girl.  He tries to keep an eye on  her and also tries to keep her from upsetting the King and his mother.  In and out of the Tudor court she goes, all while trying to help this young boy she believes to be her half brother.

    As the story grows it is more about Perkin than anyone else, except for Grace's involvement and her trips to Burgundy to see Margaret.  Being the great problem solver that Grace is, she does piece together to story of Richard and finds the truth of who he really is.

   The King's Grace is such a great story about the princes in the tower and Grace.   Grace has this determination to be a part of this family and to solve the mystery.  Anne Easter Smith puts this story together really well.  I recommend this book to anyone interested in the Tudors and the mystery of the Princes in the Tower!



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