Mistress to the Crown

Written by Isolde Martyn
Review by Lucy Bertoldi

Mistress Elizabeth Shore is all that a royal mistress should be, and way more! Getting a taste of what the upper class is like from working in her father’s elegant shop for ladies’ wear, Elizabeth wants nothing to do with her dull-witted, impotent and much older husband, William Shore. She wants her marriage annulled at any cost.

Enter King Edward IV’s great confidant, William Hastings, to fix all that. Her new life begins as Hastings’ tutored love apprentice, after which she becomes King Edward’s mistress. Because of this, there are evidently a few racy scenes; luckily, the book does not stay that course for long. In this cleverly written novel, the focus changes, with the history of the Wars of the Roses taking precedence – and ultimately this is what gives the book its true intensity.

Isolde Martyn falters at nothing in this amazing, vividly scripted retelling of history. The facts are meticulously researched, and the characters almost reincarnated from the past. Jane, as the King prefers to call her, is more than just a mistress. She becomes a voice for many people by petitioning their needs to the king. She is detested, prosecuted and demeaned by some, while loved, defended and trusted by most.

I enjoyed this book immensely; particularly because the author is able to convey the history perfectly while keeping me satiated with the plausibility of it all. From intense moments of love to scenes of prison cells, false accusations, and beheadings, this is an extremely captivating read!