Thwarted Queen

Written by Cynthia Sally Haggard
Review by Lucy Bertoldi

Thwarted Queen is the story of Cecylee Neville, Duchess of York, and mother of two kings, Edward IV and Richard III.  Comprised of long chapters, spanning over almost a century, it’s a recounting of the War of the Roses seen from Cecylee’s perspective. Countess de Beaufort, unwilling to let go of her youngest child, delays Cecylee’s marriage to Richard of York for longer than customary.  Cecylee revels in her youth while strengthening and cultivating her mind in areas that were open mostly to men. Once they were married, their union focused on the relentless campaign to restore England’s rightful heir to the throne, rather than love. More so, Cecylee’s bout of infidelity would be key to England’s future. Despite obstacles with Queen Marguerite of Anjou (‘the bitch of Anjou’) and her daughter-in law, Elisabeth Woodville (‘the Serpent’), Cecylee runs a tight ruling in her own right.  She paves way to the throne for her youngest son, Richard, while disinheriting her eldest, Edward IV.  Thwarted Queen is a captivating read right from the start.  The author’s smooth writing style and ability to capture the slightest detail lingering even within the silent moments is what renders this tale almost more breathtaking than the history itself.  In addition, the battles and conflicts of this whole epic time are a perfect blend of history, saga and romance – with Cecylee at the forefront of it all.  Extremely interesting and cleverly written-I was completely enthralled!