Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Book Reviews: Wars of the Roses Round Up

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
Pages: 206
Received: Library, own
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I read this book in bed while recovering from a cold, which is the best way to read this book as main character Inspector Alan Grant spends the whole book bedridden recovering from a broken leg. Being in a similar situation made me feel even more connected with the story.

Grant spent his time researching through history books and applying his detective's mind to unraveling the mystery surrounding Richard III, Henry VII, and the murder of the princes in the tower and I happily sleuthed alongside him.

I am still so pleasantly surprised by how absolutely enthralled I was by The Daughter of Time. It's a pretty straight forward book and there's a ton of "telling," so much so that it almost feels like I spent the day chatting with a historian rather than reading a fictional story. The chapters move along pretty quickly and are usually only about ten pages or fewer.

For me, the jury is still out on who did in the lost princes in the tower, but I tend to lean on the side of sympathy toward Richard and blame to Henry. I'm ok with reading the "blame Richard" side, but I definitely appreciated Josephine Tey's take instead. Her explanation seems reasonable, and even if historically we may never know, story-wise she wrote a compelling narrative.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy Wars of the Roses and Tudor history, though the anti-Ricardian may struggle.

The Lost King by Alison Prince
Pages: 96
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Wow. This book is...not very good at all. It's super short and the chapters are usually only a few pages long, but that's about the only positive thing I can say.

The story is narrated by a fictional "observer" character in the form of a servant. This is a narrative device I usually don't like, and in such a short book it felt even more useless. We even get a few bits and pieces from her personal life, but this felt even more pointless considering how much of a non-character the narrator turned out to be.

But, whatever, if that was the worst thing then it wouldn't have bothered me that much. No, the reason this book gets such a low rating stems entirely from its historical inaccuracies. Simple things that could be found on the Wikipedia page aren't even correct! What is accurate is presented in such an abridged way that readers with little to no knowledge of the time will likely come away with an inaccurate understanding of people and events.

Definitely not recommended.


  1. I love reading about the Wars of the Roses and I found The Daughter of Time fascinating, particularly as my sympathies also lie more with Richard than Henry. I'm sorry to hear The Lost King was so disappointing - I won't be reading that one!

    1. Yes, definitely one to avoid! I'm curious about other Josephine Tey books, but none immediately jump out yet.

  2. Hi there! New follower here. Nice to meet you! I'm a history buff so your reviews really caught my eye. Thanks for the heads up. I will definitely give The Daughter of Time a try.

    1. Welcome! Nice to have you here :) I hope you enjoy your time here.


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