Thursday, May 22

Book Review: To the Tower Born by Robin Maxwell

Author: Robin Maxwell
Title: To the Tower Born
Genre: Historical Fiction & Mystery 
Pages: 320
First Published: September 2005
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

"Debated for more than five centuries, the disappearance of the young princes Edward and Richard from the Tower of London in 1483 has stirred the imaginations of numerous writers from Shakespeare to Josephine Tey and posited the question: Was Richard III the boys' murderer, or was he not? 

The events are witnessed through the eyes of quick-witted Nell Caxton, only daughter of the first English printer, William Caxton, and Nell's dearest friend, 'Bessie', daughter of the King of England, sister to the little princes, and founding ancestress of the Tudor dynasty.

With great bravery and heart, the two friends navigate this dark and dangerous medieval landscape in which the king's death sets off a battle among the most scheming, ambitious, and murderous men and women of their age, who will stop at nothing to possess the throne of England."

Randomly stumbled upon this at my library and I had read a Robin Maxwell novel in the past and I had liked it, so I thought why not give this a try? Well...I truly had mixed feelings about this one. 

The twist with what happened to the lost princes surely did make me think. Is it crazy to think that a certain someone kidnapped them? (I shall not name names) But it all makes sense. This person (who is not Richard) was the one to do it. This person had every reason to do it and I'm ashamed that I never even contemplated this person. The ending annoyed me though and was rather cheesy. Unless, of course, Bessie and Nell made up everything to just get Henry on Bessie's side. HAHA! 

However, the story was hugely historically inaccurate and some bits were rather cheesy. Like the whole Nell and Bessie being best friends; honestly, Queen Elizabeth would never allow her daughter to be besties with a commoner. A daughter of a rich and liked publicist, but still...a commoner whatsoever. Granted Queen Elizabeth was a commoner to begin with before she married the King, but honestly her ambition was huge and this would not benefit her daughter. 

Besides for those two huge things, it was a fun adventure and I loved the theory. I honestly personally believe that the person in question might have been the one to do it. This person really would benefit from it. Mmmmmm.

In the end, if you look past all the historical inaccuracies and the cheesyness, it was a fun adventure and an interesting look at the mystery that is the missing Princes. I would recommend this to those that like historical mysteries and historical fictions. Out of five stars, I will grant this 3 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Nell, Lord Rivers (poor guy), Prince Edward, Dickon, and Bessie
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Richard, King Henry VII, and Lady Margaret 


Blodeuedd said...

What I would not do to know who killed them

Carole Rae said...

I know! It's one of the mysteries in history that really bugs me.