I enjoy reading about the kings and queens of old, and was excited about this novel about the little known Queen Margaret of Scotland Author D.L Bogdan does a wonderful job of taking her readers deep into the heart of the English royal family, with all the scandals, machinations, and drama that they are so famous for There is romance, adventure, mystery and a bit of humor throughout this tale that along with a fast moving plot and a great cast of characters makes this book a great read.This story of the strong and brave Margaret was captivating, and I think anyone who has an interest in English history, the Tudors, and royalty will be enthralled with this fascinating story. What a fantastic historical novel I enjoyed every minute of it Part of it was due to the fact that I have never read much historically about Margaret Tudor and the rest was because of Bogdan s masterful storytelling.Margaret Tudor is portrayed here as a multifaceted figure She sets out to become queen of Scotland at the tender age of fourteen and yet she overcomes her doubts and proves herself to be a strong and proud woman very much a queen And yet, in her steadfast quest to see her son crowned, she seems to cast others aside along the way, unknowing in her own way, but realizing too late what she has lost Despite her faults, I found myself endeared to Margaret I shed tears several times throughout the book As she faced the many sorrowful events in her life, I faced them with her Much of the trials Margaret faces are largely due to her status as a woman Women did not have many options or much power in those days Perhaps Margaret best summed it up herself when she reflected, The world did not belong to women, except for what they could do to further their men Margaret s life was very much tied up in furthering men, often with heartbreaking consequences.Another aspect of the novel I enjoyed was Bogdan s portrayal of Henry VIII, Margaret s younger brother The way he is depicted in this book is very much how I imagined he would have behaved from what I ve learned of him in previous readings Margaret says about him, Well, Henry has a code of conduct for the rest of the world to follow, then a separate code for himself Spot on In the author s note, Bogdan explains that this work, like her others, is a dramatic interpretation meant to entertain That being said, I never felt the entertaining aspect of the book took away from a feel of historical authenticity As she did with The Sumerton Women, Bogdan has once again written a fine historical novel. Love, Treachery And Betrayal At Court The Perfect Read For Fans Of Philippa Gregory And Susannah DunnFrom Her Earliest Days, Margaret Tudor Knows She Will Not Have The Luxury Of Choosing A Husband As Daughter Of Henry VII, Her Duty Is To Gain Alliances For England Barely Out Of Girlhood, Margaret Is Married By Proxy To James IV And Travels To Edinburgh To Become Queen Of ScotlandDespite Her Doubts, Margaret Falls Under The Spell Of Her Adopted Home But She Has Rivals While Jamie Is An Affectionate Husband, He Is Not A Faithful One And Providing An Heir Cannot Guarantee Margaret S Safety When Jamie Leads An Invading Army Against Her Own Brother, Henry VIIIIn The Wake Of Tragic Loss She Falls Prey To The Attentions Of The Ambitious Earl Of Angus A Move That Brings Scotland To The Brink Of Anarchy Beset By Betrayal, Secret Alliances, And The Vagaries Of Her Own Heart, Margaret Has One Overriding Ambition To Preserve The Crown Of Scotland For Her Son, No Matter What The CostExquisitely Detailed And Poignant, The Tudor Princess Vividly Depicts The Life And Loves Of An Extraordinary Woman Who Helped Shape The Fate Of Two Kingdoms And In Time, Became The Means Of Uniting Them Warning Mild spoilers ahead Something is wrong with me, or at least wrong with the books I ve been reading lately My past 3 or 4 books were 2 stars, I need to stop that trend Unfortunately, this book is not going to be the one to end the streak I wanted it to be, so desperately The cover is amazing, I am so in love with that dress that I wanted to read the book simply for that The synopsis also grabbed my attention Everyone has read books about the infamous Tudors Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Princess Catherine, all of these are names that most people would recognize Margaret is the oft overlooked Tudor that I can t recall having too many books written about her In retrospect, there seems to be a very good reason for that.Initially, I thought that I would quite like Margaret She was spunky and fiery, with a bit of an attitude on her too Her journey to the altar by proxy at the age of 13 to the King of Scotland, who was 20 years her senior, was a sweet introduction to the story and her character I liked that she understood her role in a royal family of being a queen and producing a royal family, while trying to bring two kingdoms together She was being proactive and determined to do her part for both England and Scotland I also enjoyed seeing her struggles to acclimate to a new country and discovering exactly what being a queen entailed Unfortunately, Margaret went from spunky and intelligent to selfish and narcissistic in a hurry I found myself furious with her so many times that I stopped counting EVERYTHING was about her And when things stopped revolving around her for half a second she threw a fit and did something stupid, like firing a cannon at her husband She humiliated herself often but then got angry at every perceived slight that shamed her, no honey you are doing a wonderful job of that yourself.I am not done unloading about Margaret here, she was also a horrible narrator because it was alllllll about the Margaret show Her child dies, it s shoved aside when she gets a new dress and is so excited about it Her favorite servant dies and she is stunned that the woman had family and other interests besides hearing her self indulgent rants all the time Her husband lies to her, deceives her, cheats on her, steals from her, and abandons her Yet she lets him take her son the crowned king for a visit And then is absolutely shocked that he won t give him back What the holy mother of God did you think would happen He s scum and has always had aspirations to control the king so you just hand the king over Her late husband tells her, you must remain unmarried or they will challenge you for the crown She remarries and then is stunned when they challenge her for the crown AAAAHHHH I can t talk about Margaret any or I m going to have a rage induced stroke.Jamie was the complete opposite in terms of character, I really liked him a lot He was kind, considerate, intelligent, and looked to the future in a way befitting of a king I thought that this was the character I d hate, marrying a 13 year old and bringing her to Scotland at 14 But I didn t He recognized that she was just a girl and probably had no idea what being a wife and queen meant and was patient with her missteps It didn t take me long to figure out that Jamie genuinely and honestly loved Margaret even if he was far from the perfect husband He did everything he could to make her happy but it didn t end up working because she still nagged at him about everything I felt sorry for him by the end simply for having to deal with her.The plot also presented me a lot of trouble, mainly because I wasn t sure that there was one It was over 300 pages of a narcissistic rant that was all about Margaret That got boring really quick There was almost no mention of the intrigue of the time, nations in turmoil, her brother s court in shambles, Scotland under siege from within, nothing of any import for the time at all All about Margaret and what made Margaret happy or unhappy I also pray that the formatting was fixed for the final copy because the ARC was practically unreadable In one sentence, a son was alive and well and being christened Literally in the next sentence, with no segue, the same son is dead and they are at his funeral I have zero idea how much time passed in between the two events Topics were mentioned and changed at will and with no explanation, segue, or even a paragraph break to tell me what was going on At one point, two whole years passed from the time we ended one paragraph to when we started the next It was so confusing I hope this was only a problem with the ARC because if the final copy is like that, God help anyone who reads it.I cannot recommend this book It nearly killed me just to finish it and I considered putting it down and giving up than a dozen times Unless you are a massive fan of the author then I fear your reading experience will echo mine Thank you Kensington for providing me an ARC of this book via NetGalley It was provided in exchange for an honest review.This and other reviews at Stefani s World of Words Reviewed for www.luxuryreading.com.Being a huge fan of Tudor historical fiction, I am always pleasantly surprised when an author can bring to my attention a previously little known person from this much discussed sphere This is exactly what D.L Bogdan has done in The Forgotten Queen, giving voice to the lesser discussed sibling of Henry VIII, Margaret Tudor With the trademark pride and stubbornness of the Tudors, Margaret worked tirelessly as a Princess of England and Queen of Scotland to bring her two countries together in peace, something never done before.Ms Bogdan s Margaret is somehow very relatable and very unique at the same time Having a seemingly endless string of babies born that die young, three husbands that are all unfaithful to her and a deep seeded want for a normal life with a loving husband and happy, healthy children, it is hard not to feel compassion for this woman that seems to want what so many of us want in our own lives She is at the same time extravagant, selfish and self loathing in turns, making her a very real, very complex character She makes me think of a soft sort of metal, bendable but never breaking.Having previously only vaguely known of Margaret as the grandmother of Mary, Queen of Scots, it was wonderful getting to know her as so much a wife, a mother, a Queen, a champion of both England and Scotland The Forgotten Queen ensures that she will now be anything but forgotten to me. I m no fan of the Tudors but having enjoyed Bogdan s previous novel, I decided to give this one with its focus on Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII a go, and I m glad This is a wonderfully readable hist fic that hits the elements of what I like in a read historical ambiance that feels real, a main character I like, historical relationships articulated in a way that seems believable, and enough drama and emotion to make me care.The Margaret of this novel is Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII Raised by her father Henry VII to embrace her God given sovereignty, she is a girl who wants love after so much loss her brother Arthur, her mother, her other siblings who died as infants.Margaret is married at 13 to James IV, King of Scotland, told to keep peace between the two kingdoms Her new husband is 30, an experienced lover of women, and father to five bastards Margaret drowns herself in fripperies and fetes, basking in her husband s sweet attentions But tragedy strikes thanks to her brother, Henry, now king and suddenly the sweet girl yearning for love finds herself struggling for so much Her infant son is crowned King and she risks losing her position as regent if she marries And yet, on her mind, always, is the desire to be loved for herself, and that motivates her decisions as much as her passion to defend her son s birthright.Bogdan handled well the historical issues that always give me the squicks, like 13 year old brides, and I liked her characterizations I m not a Henry VIII fan so that he shows up like a jerk in this book is fine with me I was taken with Margaret, who could potentially be cloying to some readers she s so desperately needy for love, she ll take affection at any turn, and hungers for it in almost all her interactions It means she also makes some frustrating life choices In her author s note, Bogdan expressly states this novel is a dramatic interpretation meant to entertain As I m not wedded to this era, that was just fine for me, and I was deeply entertained by this book Moved, amused, saddened, gladdened, this was a quick read of a less known royal that I enjoyed Very much worth breaking my Tudor ban The Tudors were a fiery, memorable family Headstrong, passionate, often foolhardy, restless this describes the forgotten Tudor, Queen Margaret of Scotland She was Henry VIII s older sister, but importantly, she was the mother of King James V of Scotland, the father of Mary, Queen of Scots She tried to set into motion peace between England in Scotland, which would finally be realized with her great grandson James.Margaret leaves England at an early age to wed the King of Scotland Though they have a loving relationship, Margaret can never understand why he must always have a mistress She sees this as a personal affront, but when he dies a few years into their marriage, leaving her a pregnant widow, she misses him dearly Through several regents, Margaret tries to hold Scotland together She realizes much too late that her second husband, the Earl of Angus, is greedy and grasping, and by then Scotland is in an uproar.Margaret lived a long life, having many children Only two survived infancy, the future King James V and the neglected Lady Margaret Douglas Bogdan s Margaret is impetuous, selfish, passionate, lonely, and full of regrets Yet she never stops dreaming, or hoping for the best for her adopted homeland of Scotland.This is an excellent, fast paced story Margaret is a fully developed character who was at times infuriating, and at others pitiful The love Margaret must have felt for her country comes through in Bogdan s lovely descriptions of the country and in Margaret s feelings about it Highly recommended.My review courtesy of the Historical Novel Society. This is the story of Margaret Tudor, Henry VIII s slightly less famous sister Margaret married Jamie, King of Scotland Margaret s father tells her to remember that she will always be a Tudor first and the Queen of Scotland second This idea gets Margaret into quite a bit of trouble as she loses her first husband and must fight to maintain regency in lieu of her son Margaret has a way of getting herself into trouble by not recognizing that she cannot be a Tudor first and Queen of Scotland second When her first husband dies, Margaret seems to ignore his advice that every man will be out to win the queen and not Margaret herself She marries quickly qithout the advice of the council and gets herself into an unfavorable situation.Throughout this entire book, I felt like Margaret simply refused to see the truth, that she would have to pick between England and Scotland at some point I found her to be very whiny and have an everyone is against me attitude Bogdan portrays Margaret very well, especially since mostly Henry and Mary are usually covered I really enjoyed Bogdan s writing. Oh dear, I seem to be having a run of bad books recently I picked up this book because I was intrigued by the premise Whilst historical fiction on the Tudors seems to be a penny a dozen these days, all trying to jump on the bandwagon, novels about Margaret Tudor, elder sister of King Henry VIII and Queen of Scotland, are few and far between With all the focus on the stereotypical image of the gluttonous Henry and his farcical merry go round of six wives, his two sisters and their impact on history are often overlooked So I was quite interested in the idea of reading a novel about Margaret s life, and her struggles in Scotland at the time notoriously difficult to rule, with power much less in the hands of the monarch, as it was in England, and much in the hands of powerful lords and clan leaders Unfortunately, the premise was the only thing I felt this book had going for it.Let s start with the language used Firstly, it s a minor point, but I do wish that certain historical fiction authors would stop using d you in their novels It s fine in Harry Potter the characters that use it in Harry Potter are teens in the 20th century It s not fine in a historical setting Knock it off It makes the character sound like a 20th century teen Also, a further tip on use of language in historical novels do not have characters say write me instead of write to me That immediately screams Americanism and jars me out of the historical setting Minor language annoyances aside, I think Bonnette has made a bit of a misstep in choosing to convey Scottish accent phonetically If a character speaks with a Scottish accent in this novel, we re drowned in a wash of dinna , canna and didna This is generally strongly advised against in writing courses because the spelling and grammar gymnastics it requires can be distracting and confusing to the reader at best and potentially offensive at worst Instead, if a writer wants to convey an accent, the idea is that they should merely describe it in narrative as a quick aside, e.g her Jamaican lilt , his Yorkshire burr etc, because the reader s imagination will supply the rest, and an accent should never be the most important thing about a character I have to say agree with that advice Finally, Bonnette really overused the character fade to black trick Margaret plunged into blackness p 82 , blackness claimed me p 82 , Jamie s voice resonate through my darkness p 82 , blackness blacknessp 82 , engulfed in darkness oncep 89 , Darkness oh this darknessp 89 , I was enfolded in the darkness p 89 , I was alone in the darkness p 89 , the darkness consumed me p 89 , I was engulfed in darkness oncep 98 , I yielded to the darkness p 102 , sweet blackness, that longed for blackness that would sweep me away on a tide of dreams, enveloped me p 172 , my only relief came in the blackness p 173 , I gave way once again to the dread blackness p 227 Yeah, okay, okay, I get it Please STOP.Put bad storycraft on top of bad language, and this novel unfortunately fails under the weight of several smaller errors For example, King Henry VII tells Margaret she is destined to unite England and Scotland in one crown, because he saw it in a dream There s a difference in a story between subtle foreshadowing and blatant hindsight Real life people in history had no idea what would happen in their future, any than we do now, yet characters in some historical novels, such as this one and, notably, Philippa Gregory s novels, make predictions and prophecies with uncanny accuracy Why Because it s not prophecy, it s hindsight It doesn t make the characters seem oh so special snowflakes with some grand destiny, it makes the author seem like they can t write well because the characters are given far too much prescience and the tension is sucked right out of the story.By far the biggest problem The Tudor Princess has, however, are two intertwined problems Bad pacing and too much telling instead of showing On page 50 Margaret is crying because her horses have died and she s remembering losing her mother and infant siblings On page 51 her husband promises to buy her shiny new horses and organise all sorts of entertainments for her, and two pages later she s literally squealing with excitement and happiness One moment Margaret s getting married and three pages later she s been married two years On page 83 the birth of Margaret s son is celebrated, and on the very next page we are told The bells that heralded my son s birth tolled out their heavy mourning song a year later after the baby, my baby, whom I held and rocked and kissed, died at Stirling. On page 96 another baby is born, and on page 97 we are told he dies nine months later You get the idea Margaret s life story feels skimmed over, not explored in any depth or feeling As a reader I simply wasn t given the opportunity to care for any of these characters, not when they barely exist and are despatched in one line That just doesn t move me, that doesn t tug at my heartstrings or make me feel in any way invested in what happens to these characters at all When exciting or moving events occur off screen, so to speak, and are related back to us the readers in a one line summary, you re basically cutting out the heart of the story This is the meat of your plot A writer wants to get their readers engaged in the events and characters of the story, and readers want to read a story they care about When the events occur off screen they lose a great deal of immediacy and feeling, and even worse when events are summarised and characters go from one emotion to the next and months and years pass in one page In my opinion this bad pacing and telling rather than showing are together the most critical problem in The Tudor Princess, and largely responsible for why it failed as a good read for me.Perhaps if we had been shown these events, I would have cared about Margaret and what happened to her As it is, not only do I fail to identify with any of her joys or sorrows, but in addition the character of Margaret actually comes off as an unlikeable person Distracted from her woes faster than you can say oooh, shiny , constantly throwing a pity party for her looks when she s young she s not full figured enough, when she s old she s too fat she s even charmed into marriage because she s so delighted with a man finding her beautiful , laments leaving behind her friends but never bothers to make any others her ladies, all besides one, we are told are all silly fools , and the one friend she does make she treats abominablyYour Grace, I mean, I would like to retire from court life I would like to go home Home I screwed up my face in confusion What do you mean, home Your home is with me Ellen bowed her head I would like to go to the Lindsays It was Marjorie Lindsay who took me in as a child, and I have family there I would like to retire with them But, Ellen, that is just foolish, I said, incredulous that she should suggest such a preposterous thing when we had so much to do Whom will I consult on gowns You know I hate my other ladies I have no use for any of them , they are all flighty, falsehearted fools I need you And the Lindsays, you dinna really know them, not like you know me You wouldn t be happy there we shall go on as if this unpleasant topic has never been discussedIn short, the character is self centred and egotistical, and frankly when her last husband tells her this point blank and reprimands her for never having bothered to really get to know or care for her supposed friend, for never having noticed how ill her friend was, I was cheering him on I m sure that Margaret, as a privileged woman of her day and as a human being could indeed be greedy and selfish, but I m equally sure that she was a much subtle and complex character than this, and I think it would be fair to say this one dimensional portrayal doesn t come close to doing the real Margaret justice.3 out of 10 The story of Margaret, older sister of Henry VIII is possibly a less familiar one than that of his younger sister, Mary, and it s that fact which initially attracted me to this book In fact, I think I ve only read one other book about her Jean Plaidy s The Thistle and the Rose, which I read probably than thirty years ago.So I was interested in reacquainting myself with her story.Margaret led a turbulent life that was frequently beset by tragedy Like many females born into prominent families, she was used as a bargaining tool, a means of cementing alliances, to which end she was married to King James IV of Scotland at the age of 13.As a young girl, Margaret is shown to be intelligent and lively The early part of her life is dealt with very quickly, but before she leaves for Scotland, her father, Henry VII tells her that he has a dream that through her, the kingdoms of England and Scotland will be united, which of course does come to pass, although not in the way he had expected Margaret s great grandson, James VI became James I of the United Kingdom in 1603 upon the death of Elizabeth I.Margaret s husband is twenty years her senior, handsome and kind and she falls for him immediately They were married for eleven years, during which time and she bore him six children, only one of whom survived infancy , but those years are almost completely glossed over in the book and we do not really get to see or learn much of James at all, other than that his religious fervour is a frequent cause of discord between him and Margaret, and that he is not a faithful husband Seeing their relationship from only one side serves only to distance James from the reader and I thought made Margaret frequently seem petulant and childish.Margaret does grow throughout the story, but finds it difficult to work out where her loyalties lie and her desire incompatible with her position to be loved for herself and not for her status as queen, leads her to make some unwise decisions when it comes to her personal life She is often selfish and extravagant, and seems to have an enormous capacity for self deception but she is utterly determined to do the best for her son and to secure his throne.In terms of the writing, the book is an easy read although I did find the author s insistence at using canna cannot and dinna did not to somehow denote a Scottish accent incredibly annoying There was an overuse of exclamation marks in the first part of the book which was similarly irritating There was also a tendency for the author to suddenly jump forward a couple of years without any indication of which year it was, which I felt made for confusion.There seems to be a trend in Historical Fiction at the moment to write using a first person narrative, and that is the case here I ve said in previous reviews that this is not my favourite style of narration and I have yet to read a book to make me change my mind I can understand that it is perhaps thought to bring a greater degree of intimacy and immediacy to the reader, but in my opinion, that advantage is not nearly enough to compensate for the things that are lost by confining the story to a single point of view This period in history is full of conflicts between nations, power struggles between factions and within families the courts of Europe were awash with intrigue and political machinations which are often as mind boggling as they are fascinating so unless the writer is going to continually slip into as you know, Bob dialogue, which does happen here first person narration can severely limit the scope of the story.Margaret s story is a fascinating one and one that certainly merits further exploration This book might serve as an introduction to her life, but it didn t draw me in and make me feel connected to the story I will say, however, that if you are interested in Margaret s life, and don t find first person narration as objectionable as I do, then you might find The Forgotten Queen to your taste.Published by Kensington Books, 29 January 2013 With thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the review copy.
D.L Bogan is a history major, aiming for a master s so that she might lecture one day She is also a musician with classical voice training who has been playing keyboards and singing in bands since she was 18 She also enjoys reading, traveling, summer activities, spending time with family and friends, and researching her next novel She makes her home in central Wisconsin.
- 318 pages
- The Forgotten Queen
- D.L. Bogdan
- 15 February 2018 D.L. Bogdan