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The King's Grace    by Anne Easter Smith order for
King's Grace
by Anne Easter Smith
Order:  USA  Can
Touchstone, 2009 (2009)
Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

Fans of English historical fiction set in the time of the War of the Roses will find this a solid entry. Through the machinations of Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy, but by birth and inclination a staunch Yorkist, a young man has been groomed to challenge the reign of Henry VII. But who is this young man really?

It is Grace, the bastard daughter of Edward IV, who will finally figure it out. She herself is only briefly mentioned in recorded history, which allows the author great freedom to let her roam through the royal family. As a result, we learn what it is like to live both in royal favor and in disfavor. Grace befriends many of Edward's children (there were ten) as well as his widow, Elizabeth. The whole family recognizes Grace's gifts of honesty, humility and conciliation, and these allow her to go where others would not be permitted.

Author Anne Easter Smith has not only provided us an interesting story, she has been most generous with information surrounding it. A family tree, dramatis personae, and map all help us get off to a good start. Her grasp of detail is authoritative, and we are drawn into the sights, sounds and smells of London, its countryside, and Brittany, and the seamless rendering of the tale makes us feel that this is the way life at that time must have been lived.

Smith's two other novels, A Rose for the Crown and Daughter of York, are also set in this time period. At 570 pages, The King's Grace may not be your fastest read, but it will feel as though you are there.

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