This Son of York by Anne Easter Smith
“Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by This Son of York…” — William Shakespeare, Richard III
Richard III was Anne’s muse for her first five books, but, finally, in This Son of York he becomes her protagonist. The story of this English king is one of history’s most compelling, made even more fascinating through the discovery in 2012 of his bones buried under a car park in Leicester.
This new portrait of England’s most controversial king is meticulously researched and brings to vivid life the troubled, complex Richard of Gloucester, who ruled for two years over an England tired of war and civil strife. The loyal and dutiful youngest son of York, Richard lived most of his short life in the shadow of his brother, Edward IV, loyally supporting his sibling until the mantle of power was thrust unexpectedly on him.
Some of his actions and motives were misunderstood by his enemies to have been a deliberate usurpation of the throne, but throughout his life, Richard never demonstrated any loftier ambitions than to honorably discharge his duty to his family and his country.
In a gentler vein, despite the cruel onset of severe scoliosis in his teens, Richard did find love, first with a lover and then in his marriage to Anne Neville. Between these two devoted women in his life, he sired three and perhaps four children.
Bringing the Plantagenet dynasty to a violent end, Richard was the last king of England to die in battle. This Son of York is a faithful chronicle of this much maligned man.
The book is told from Richard’s point of view and covers his life from childhood to his death.
This was the first book I’ve read from the author, even though I own a couple. Overall, I liked the book, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the characterization of Richard. He just came off as whiny and without backbone and it grew old very soon. I like Richard III but too often he’s described either just too good or either very bad like a Disney character or something. I like something in the between.
Every chapter starts with a quote from Philippa Langley, who was present during the whole research process for Richard’s bones. I found those quotes unnecessary, but I seem to be in minority with this so…
All this being said, I did enjoy the book even if it may sound like I didn’t. It also made me realize that I haven’t read a book about Richard for so long.
Published: Bellastoria Press (November 10, 2019)
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
About the Author
Anne is the award-winning author of The King’s Grace and the best-selling A Rose for the Crown, Daughter of York, Queen By Right, and Royal Mistress. She is an expert on Richard III, having studied the king and his times for decades. Her sixth book, This Son of York, will be published soon. She grew up in England, Germany and Egypt, and has been a resident/citizen of the US since 1968. Anne was the Features Editor at a daily newspaper in northern New York State for ten years, and her writing has been published in several national magazines.
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Review at A Chick Who Reads