07 March 2011

Review: To the Tower Born | Robin Maxwell

The disappearance of the Princes in the Tower in 1483 has captured the attention of historians for hundreds of years, and the mystery has never been solved.

What we do know is that following the death of King Edward IV, his eldest son Edward was placed in The Tower of London (which were then luxurious royal apartments) for his own protection prior to his coronation. He was later joined by his younger brother, Prince Richard.

Whilst in the Tower it was discovered that the marriage of their parents - King Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville - was illegitimate; King Edward was already married at the time. This made the births of the Princes illegitimate, and their Uncle Richard (the late King's brother) was crowned King Richard III. The Princes then disappeared and it was long assumed King Richard III was responsible for having the young boys murdered and their remains disposed of within the Tower.

Robin Maxwell tackles this famous mystery in To The Tower Born - A Novel of the Lost Princes, and successfully manages to build on these historical facts, taking the reader back to the era and providing a convincing account of what 'could have happened'. An alternate outcome if you will.

Told in alternating chapters from two different narrators, we get to know the young Princes prior to the events leading to their demise. The novel is rich in history and exposes the plotting and politics of those hungry for power in England, and those who will do anything to lay claim to the throne.

I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction novel, and am already a huge fan of Robin Maxwell's work, especially The Queen's Bastard, and The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn.

I would recommend this to any reader interested in delving into a well written novel featuring the mystery of the Princes in the Tower, or who is keen to learn more about the politics of the House of York in the period prior to the Tudors.

My rating = ****

Carpe Librum!

2 comments:

Pam said...

This sounds fantastic. I love a good historical.

Tracey said...

Thanks Pam, I'd love to hear your thoughts if you end up reading this one. Have you read any novels by Robin Maxwell?