Author: D.L. Bogdan
Genre: historical fiction
Pages: 384 (ARC edition)
Published: January 29, 2014
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for review
From her earliest days, Margaret Tudor knows she will not have the luxury of choosing a husband. 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 Scotland.
Despite her doubts, Margaret falls under the spell of her adopted home. But while Jamie is an affectionate husband, he is not a faithful one. And nothing can guarantee Margaret’s safety when Jamie leads an army against her own brother, Henry VIII. In the wake of loss she falls prey to an ambitious earl and brings Scotland to the brink of anarchy. Beset by betrayal and secret alliances, Margaret has one aim—to preserve the crown of Scotland for her son, no matter what the cost…
A fresh perspective on the famous and often-written about Tudors is hard to come by, and thus even more noteworthy when it does manage to happen. Such is the case for veteran author D.L. Bodgan's The Forgotten Queen. The voice and narration of King Henry VIII's largely ignored elder sister Margaret provides a fresh and opinionated new view for readers to enjoy. Her large, quarrelsome family on the periphery, Bogdan has the space to create a well-fleshed out version of a woman not often noticed amongst her power-hungry and devious Tudor clan. A woman who sought love and affection more than regal authority, Margaret's missteps and mistakes are usually of her own making, which is eerily echoed in the life story of her great-grandchild Mary, Queen of Scots.
What also helps The Forgotten Queen to stand out amongst its Tudor-beginnings is that it's not really concerned with the English Court during the reign of Margaret's infamous brother. Married to James IV of Scotland, and therefor the Queen of Scots, "Maggie"'s life is centered in the highlands, amongst all the schemes and political maneuverings of England's longtime enemy. The book sets off at a brisk pace - one that it maintains for the duration of the novel. Important events and people are approached with speed, so the book flies by but the jumps in time periods can be weird to read. In one chapter, Maggie is ten, approaching her proxy marriage. The next, she is twelve/thirteen and heading into Scotland to take her rightful place. It's not a big issue for such a solidly-written novel, but occasionally when such leaps ahead occurred, they took me out of the atmosphere and story.
This was an interesting novel, to say the least. Featuring such a lively, flawed real woman as its narrator, Margaret may have been called the forgotten Tudor before, but I doubt I will forget the passion and vitality given her by this author. Bogdan goes to lengths to create a real person, with all their inherent flaws and problems for her protagonist and it makes the read more rewarding than otherwise. She can be wily or frivolous; a wise ruler or one ruled by her heart instead of her head. Even when she is not at her best (and that does happen a lot; see her about her unwillingness to part with her favorite maid, "Douglas", etc.), her inner monologue is always interesting to read about. First-person can be tricky when used in the historical fiction genre, but Bogdan pulls it off well here. Margaret feels apart of the plot at all times, even when events are far-reaching and beyond her personal sphere.
Entertaining and fast-paced, but no without a few missteps. It's always nice to get a fresh perspective on the Tudor dynasty, and using Princess Margaret for a narrator helps a lot in that regard. Enjoyable, an easy historical read, The Forgotten Queen is a sold effort. I am more than willing tos ee what else this talented author has to say about the Tudor dynasty - as soon as I finished her latest offering, I added the rest of her works to my "to-read" shelf. If, like me, you're an avid Tudorphile, you really cannot go wrong with trying The Forgotten Queen.
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VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR SCHEDULEMonday, January 21 Feature & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Tuesday, January 22
Review at Peppermint, Ph.D. Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, January 23
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Interview & Giveaway at My Reading Room
Thursday, January 24
Review at Unabridged Chick
Review at My Reading Room
Friday, January 25
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Libraria
Monday, January 28
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Review & Giveaway at The Broke and the Bookish
Tuesday, January 29
Review & Giveaway at Always with a Book
Review at Review From Here
Wednesday, January 30
Review & Giveaway at Ageless Pages Reviews
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Thursday, January 31
Review at The True Book Addict
Friday, February 1
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court Interview & Giveaway at The True Book Addict