The Winter Prince
The Winter Prince is the story of Prince Rupert of the Rhine, nephew to King Charles I and his finest battle commander during the English Civil War. Rupert returns to England having spent some of his childhood there just as Charles is beginning his fight with Parliament. Rupert encounters the popular, beautiful countess of Richmond, herself close to the king having grown up at court under the protection of Queen Henrietta-Maria. They are thrown together as the war progresses and what began as a fondness from childhood memories of each other blossoms into a deep love that they must keep hidden.
This is an exceptional book, written beautifully and with great sensitivity. The character of Rupert is so well drawn that I broke my own rules and looked him up long before I finished the novel. He steals the show. Mary is a combination of delicacy, weakness and tremendous strength, so much so that she is a touch unbelievable, that a woman with her wit and intelligence can be brought so low by lesser events. I willed her to be tougher and less coddled by those around her, but one can’t help liking her. And she is against the far weaker woman that is Henrietta-Maria, a queen who is too removed from the real world to fully grasp the true situation.
Cheryl Sawyer is a gifted writer and it is a pity that the production of the edition submitted for review contained several errors. However, these will hopefully be corrected for further editions and I certainly recommend this novel, especially if you like the English Civil War period. It is a romance that is never sentimental and has plenty of politics for the most ardent history lover.