Comments: 25
Wow. My turn to say thank you -- and to have swallowed very hard over this!! :)

You definitely have made *my* day now ... along with Elizabeth and Margaret, who also made my days while I was reading about them!

Btw, in the comments of the Wordpress edition of my review there's a question as to what may have been your biographical sources. I answered Hazel Pierce for Margaret Pole, since you'd mentioned her once in response to my own question along those lines, and to a certain extent Penn's "Winter King," since we'd also briefly compared notes on that, but I wasn't sure to what extent you had used Allison Weir's book on Elizabeth -- and / or what else?
Carpe Librum 6 years ago
I have debated whether or not to include a page on my sources in my books.

For Elizabeth, I did use Weir's bio, which was surprisingly good once I got past the evil uncle Richard chapters. She includes a large amount of detail that some readers found dry but were priceless for writing a novel. I also read Amy Licence's bio, but I can't think of anything in that one that's not in Weir's. As you said, 'Winter King' was a major source, despite primarily being about Henry. I also like the Richard III bio by Charles Ross. (As a side note: I don't necessarily believe my own theory on the Princes in the Tower and would have preferred to leave it an unsolved mystery, as it is. However, I thought readers would be disappointed in that, so I decided to choose someone not normally blamed.)

Margaret was more difficult because there is not anything written about her exclusively besides the Pierce bio. I liked Desmond Seward's 'Last White Rose' for detail on the Plantagenet remnant, which of course included Margaret and her family. Linda Porter's 'First Queen of England' was helpful for her time with Mary, but I mostly looked up articles on specific events and people rather than using book sources.

I have the opposite problem with Mary! I've tried to choose the best sources for her life without going through a multitude of books on her, her sister, her father.... The Linda Porter book is probably my favorite.
Wow, thank you, that's a LOT to follow up on! Thank you!

And I think your choice not to leave the princes' fate a mystery until the end was a wise one. It's sort of the big white elephant in the room, and this being a novel, I agree that most readers would have expected you to advance some sort of theory. I actually liked the fact that you didn't go for any solution that's been done and overdone a million times, and yours is both creative and plausible, so hoorray. :D (In fact, I caught myself thinking about this while I was writing my review, and concluding that personally I don't want to have to believe of *any* of the protagonists that they could have ordered the murder of two innocent little boys. Whereas if in my own mind either Richard, Henry or anybody else really were the twodimensional cardboard character as who they're often portrayed, I wouldn't have put this past them in the least ...)
Btw, Manuel Antao (who asked the question on WP) says thank you, too, for all the biographical background info -- but you've probably seen that, since you tweeted the link to the Wordpress incarnation of my review ... thank you for that, too! :)
Murder by Death 6 years ago
Odd time to ask this, but I have the audio of Faithful Traitor queued up for my next 'car' read - do these need to be read in order? I didn't realise one was a sequel to the other?
Carpe Librum 6 years ago
You must have PPTQ because that is the only one available so far on audio. It is the first one chronologically, though either can be read as a stand alone story. I hope you enjoy it! :-D
Murder by Death 6 years ago
Ah, well, there you go. I knew I bought one of them, and I think b/c it was so close to the release of the second one it was, ergo, the second one. Glad to know I'm starting at the beginning, either way. :)
Carpe Librum 6 years ago
The new book and audio of the first did end up being at about the same time, but you have the right one. :-)
... and to answer your original question, it absolutely makes sense to read both books in the order of publication. Margaret Pole's story ("Faithful Traitor") *would* also work as a stand-alone, I suppose, but you'll get MUCH more out of it if you've read / listened to "Plantagenet Princess, Tudor Queen" first, because you're already living in the two ladies' world that way, Margaret's story picks up exactly where Elizabeth's ends, and there's also a considerable amount of cross-referencing.
Murder by Death 6 years ago
Thanks TA - I'm very glad then that I inadvertently bought the right one first. :)
Carpe Librum 6 years ago
From Skidmore you know it will be a positive look at RIII. Am I the only one who wonders how people keep coming up with new things to say about him?
All riding on the sensation of the Leicester discovery, no doubt. Well, I've put it on my TBR for the time being ...
Carpe Librum 6 years ago
It's probably a worthy read. I didn't mean to come across so negative but wonder what new facts it could include.
Oh, I totally agree, when it comes to Richard III, that is bound to be the question. Then again, a discovery like this one *is* going to make people go back to the archives and squeeze out even the tiniest morsel that hasn't been put under the microscope yet ... or hasn't been looked at from all 7 sides of the cube yet, etc.
I was not familiar with these books. Due to ThemisAthena's take on them, they got on my book radar...I've always thought reviews are an essential but unappreciated genre all by itself. Reviewing is much more than clobbering together a few facts and a synopsis. Book reviews are the first thing I look at in the Sunday paper, the first section I turn to when I get the latest issue of an academic journal. Writing an worth reading review (good or bad) takes time. Some book reviewing being done nowadays is simply appaling, because it isn’t critical enough. After reading a few of them, I get the feeling every author being reviewed is now a genius in the making, and his or her book a masterpiece. ThemisAthena's approach is different. Sometimes the reason why a book is great remains elusive. One has to be able to read in the interstices of the story. That's what ThemisAthena is able to do. Not easy. It requires scholarship, being well-read, caring about stuff, and the ability to write as well if I may say so. ThemisAthena should do more book reviewing...Just saying...
Carpe Librum 6 years ago
Yes, she should! Though knowing the work that goes into a review like this, I can understand how one cannot be written every day. I am sad to say that I take the time to thoroughly review books the way I used to only for a fraction of the books that I read now. It is easy to think nobody reads them or cares. That is why I wanted to make sure she new I greatly appreciated this one!
She knows and appreciates the feedback in turn! :)

And I really wish I had more time to do this more often -- it feels so punily inadequate to just append a star rating to a book one has liked, knowing that here's an author who has invested a year, or even several years of their life to create this book ...!
Carpe Librum 6 years ago
That is why my policy lately has been to make sure I write reviews for books that I enjoyed and have not received much feedback. Those are the priority & I write other reviews as I feel inspired but no longer feel guilty if I don't add my two cents to a book with thousands of ratings.
I totally agree. Either that, or have to have *very* strong feelings about the book (good or bad) that just cry out to be expressed. Or more often than not, even both of these motivations in combination.
incidentally, last Thursday I went to the theatre to see the play Richard III at the Almeida starring Ralph Fiennes. Review coming up...
Carpe Librum 6 years ago
How exciting! I have another friend who just saw it & said he did a great job. I'll look forward to your review.
Talk about someone putting a lot of time and care into writing a review ... and doing so much more frequently and routinely than me! Great job, as always!
You're too kind as usual.