In the last few years I have become increasingly fascinated with historical fiction and the Tudors reign the highest on my list of favorites. The Forgotten Queen by D.L. Bogdan takes us into the world of Margaret who was the lesser known sister of King Henry VIII which makes this a very apt title for the novel. I had not known much of Margaret’s life before reading this book so I was glued to the pages as she journeys from England to become the Queen of Scotland. D.L. Bogdan does a wonderful job of weaving historical realities in with a captivating story. I’m really becoming a fan of D.L. Bogdan’s – this is the second of her books that I’ve read (having read The Sumerton Women and loved it) and I haven’t been disappointed yet.
As with all royal children they are raised to follow a certain set of rules. The girls are raised to be the perfect wife as they are generally used as pawns in the struggle to gain alliances with other kingdoms. Margaret, a princess, knows from a young age that she will be married to a prince and likely will have to leave her home and all she knows. At thirteen years old she is married by proxy to James IV and then leaves to go to Scotland. Her father tells her that she is meant for greatness – she is going to unite kingdoms in peace. She knows her purpose which is to bear sons for her husband to secure her place as the Queen of Scotland and when she meets Jamie she is happy to find that he is actually a good man and he is good to her but he also has a wandering eye. When he is killed she is determined to marry for love but can a Queen ever truly be loved? Time after time Margaret feels betrayed and finally focuses her energies on her son, King James V but even he becomes impatient with her. Ultimately her one goal is to protect the crown of Scotland for her son through all of the trials that come with it.
It’s hard to imagine that girls so young were married to grown men and expected to produce heirs and run households. It’s even harder for me to accept how girls were just used as pawns. Often when you read historical fiction you notice that the mothers are really absent from their daughter’s lives and the biggest reason is that sooner rather than later those daughters are taken from them and they usually don’t see them again. This really comes through in Bogdan’s novel – both in terms of Margaret’s relationship with her own daughter but also in her need to be loved for who she was. She always believed that no one would ever truly love her and love was the one thing she needed the most in her life and it is what led her astray many a time. I found her a likeable character and one who at times made me so mad because Margaret could truly be very selfish. Yet you think about how young she was married off and the responsibilities put on her and your heart goes out to her. It can’t have been an easy life for women back then especially ones born to royal families.
Because of my love for all things Tudor I enjoyed the woven in details of Henry VIII’s life and reign. What I really appreciated though was learning a bit about one of his sisters. You hear her mentioned in other novels but you never really know who she is. I felt that D.L. Bogdan really brought to life who Margaret was and how she may have lived and loved. I also really enjoy her writing. She has quite the way of bringing the world of the royals to life with the descriptions of the entertainments and the beautiful gowns. The Forgotten Queen has sparked my interest in Margaret and I hope to do a little more research and learn more about her. If you’re a lover of historical fiction The Forgotten Queen is a fast and easy read that is very enjoyable and for those who haven’t read a lot of historical fiction this type of novel is an excellent start as it entertains you and yet gives you some historical fact but doesn’t overwhelm. Another excellent novel by D.L. Bogdan that has left me anxious for her next one!
The Forgotten Queen by D.L. Bogdan is touring with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours so be sure to check out all of the reviews, interviews and giveaways at the other tour stops. You can learn more about D.L. Bogdan’s work on her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter. You can pick up your own copy of The Forgotten Queen at Amazon or Amazon Canada.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS (Open Internationally)
I have one copy of The Forgotten Queen by D.L. Bogdan to share with my readers. To enter…
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This giveaway is open Internationally to all! Isn’t that fantastic! I will draw for the winner on Saturday, February 9/13. Good luck!
Source: Review copy provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and the Publisher via NetGalley. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own.