The Rose of York: Crown of Destiny

Written by Sandra Worth
Review by Ilysa Magnus

In this sequel to the gripping The Rose of York: Love and War, Worth does a beautiful, and succinct, job of retelling the well-worn but no less horrific story of Edward IV’s fall from glory. Here, Worth focuses primarily on the temporarily successful manipulation of the entire Woodville clan to wrest power away from the Plantagenets and the ultimate succession of Richard III to the throne.

Worth does justice to the story. While dosing it heavily with historical fact, she makes it absolutely pulse with human emotion. The Woodvilles are gruesome and hateful people. Richard and Anne, tied from childhood in a bond that knows no bounds of time or space, find each other again after being torn apart by political expedience and pure nastiness. Worth acknowledges the existence of a Kate Haute in Richard’s pre-Anne life – particularly of interest to me after reading and reviewing Anne Easter Smith’s memorable A Rose for the Crown for February’s issue. However, Worth rejects the hypothesis that Richard and Kate had a serious relationship and sloughs over the Kate-Richard affair as a mere dalliance producing two illegitimate children. It’s always fascinating to me how historical novelists employ similar materials and weave their stories so differently.

Crown of Destiny, for all its brevity, is a deep and gripping read. Although it is not necessary to read Love and War beforehand, I feel that it gave me an opportunity to familiarize myself with Worth’s style and to immerse myself immediately into the story.

The final installment in this series, Fall from Grace, is due out later this year. I’m going to grab that one as soon as I can.