The thistle and the rose by

5 May 2008

Setting: , ,
ISBN: 9780099493259
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See also: LibraryThing ; Literature Map ; Scandalous Women ; Susan Higginbotham

In an apartment of that royal palace which recently, by the command of the King, had had its name changed from Shene to Richmond, three children were ranged about a blazing fire.

This novel tells the story of Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII of England, and sister to King Henry VIII. As a teenager she married King James IV of Scotland in an effort to bring peace between England and Scotland. The rose and the thistle of the novel’s title.

Jean Plaidy has written plenty of historical fiction books. This is the 8th in the Tudor series alone. But it is the first one I’ve ever read by her. And I’d have to say I’m not really all that impressed.

As the central character you’d think that maybe Plaidy would try and make Margaret an interesting character. If not a likeable one then surely she should be understandable. I don’t know much about the real historical figure, but I found Plaidy’s version to be overly weak and, I hate to use the word, but a tad hysterical in her interactions with others. Maybe it is that far too much happened in Margaret’s life and this book simply wasn’t long enough to go into sufficient detail and create a believable person. Whatever the reason Margaret wasn’t a strong enough central character for me to enjoy.

But neither were any of the others. Henry VIII was far too childish. Margaret’s various love interests were sketched rather than developed characters. And everyone else was fairly interchangeable.

Overall the writing did its job in telling the story, but nothing more. Decidedly average would be my verdict.

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