Jan 24, 2013

The Forgotten Queen by D.L. Bogdan



The Forgotten Queen by D.L. Bogdan
Kensington Books February 2013
Historical Fiction
 Review copy from the author, thank you!
Burton Book Review Rating:4.5 stars

 From her earliest days, Margaret Tudor knows she will not have the luxury of choosing a husband. Her duty is to gain alliances for England. Barely out of girlhood, Margaret is married by proxy to James IV and travels to Edinburgh to become Queen of Scotland.

Despite her doubts, Margaret falls under the spell of her adopted home. But while Jamie is an affectionate husband, he is not a faithful one. And nothing can guarantee Margaret’s safety when Jamie leads an army against her own brother, Henry VIII. In the wake of loss she falls prey to an ambitious earl and brings Scotland to the brink of anarchy. Beset by betrayal and secret alliances, Margaret has one aim—to preserve the crown of Scotland for her son, no matter what the cost…


Read my previous D.L. Bogdan reviews

There are two contemporary Tudor novelists that I really enjoy and who I would not be adverse to reading their fifth or sixth book set in the era. Otherwise, a Tudor book by any author would not cross my threshold as I have had my full of the whole Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn episodes. With D.L. Bogdan's newest Tudoresque novel we are treated to a historical figure that always seems out of England/out of mind in my reads: Margaret Tudor, elder sister to Henry VIII and the favored Mary Tudor, Queen of France who later married Charles Brandon.

Margaret's story may not be too different than other royal princesses as they are marketed to the best match for their country and off they go, never to return to their homeland again. Margaret was sent by her father Henry VII to go make peace with Scotland and marry their King. That is what she attempted to do, and her marriage was portrayed lovingly and I enjoyed reading their story. There was always a constant struggle for Margaret, was she a princess of England or was she a Queen of Scotland? Margaret herself came off as naive, petulant, somewhat wild in nature, and wholly unpredictable. Which made the reading that much more fun (except when sometimes I felt like I was reading about Mary Queen of Scots! SO similar in character!)!

When we got to the parts where Margaret lost so much, I really empathized with Margaret that I was able to forgive her arrogant ways and horrible marriage choices. Her losses were many, and she seemed to stack up more losses than her counterparts such as Catherine of Aragon or even Anne Boleyn. And yet, we always hear SO MUCH more about Catherine and Anne. Due to Bogdan's captivating storytelling, I am more intrigued about Margaret Tudor, mother of King James V and eventual ancestress of the United Kingdom.

I recommend The Forgotten Queen for its quick pace, and for doing Margaret justice. Why she should always seem to be forgotten in novels and history is a mystery and a travesty for a woman who went through so much and ultimately gave so much to Scotland yet was not recognized for it. As I read through Bogdan's telling of Margaret's story, I felt her pain as she yearned for love and appreciation, and she finally achieved it with this reader.

12 comments:

  1. I'm a huge fan of historical fiction but tend to stick with the Tudor time period. This one sounds fantastic though I may have to check this one out and expand my horizons. :) Great review!

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    1. Definitely perfect for lovers of the Tudor era! This would help explain some of the things going on back and forth politically between France, Scotland and England in those days. I was intrigued also by the depiction of Henry VII in this one, he was a bit different than his usual crotchety old man characterization. If you haven't read any of Bodgan's previous novels, I urge you to look for them!

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  2. I have not heard of this author but will keep in her mind when wanting to read a good historical novel of that period. I took a break from all books of that era but will likely want to dip into more in the future.

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    1. Her novels have always been entertaining, and although set during a sometimes overdone period, she focuses on a lesser known figure.

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  3. I really enjoyed this book too! It is always nice to learn more about a Tudor that isn't talk about as much as Henry or his wives.

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  4. Nice review, Marie. I'm just about to finish this one but, unfortunately, I don't like it nearly as much as you did. It started strong, but as soon as Margaret made the move to Scotland I liked her less and less. I do, however, appreciate that Bodgan chose Margaret as the main character. It's a nice change from the normal Tudor novels. I'll post my review next week.

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    1. I understand! A fellow blogger also couldn't stand Margaret, and she didn't like the barbaric atmosphere of Scotland either. There are times when main characters/settings just create a negative nuance for the reader. You have to be able to like the object of the story in order to appreciate the book.I am glad I was able to feel empathetic towards Margaret, I was worried I would not be able to. I felt she was pretty much thrown to the wolves so to speak, and had too much to bear on her own once her husband the King died.

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  5. I'm not tired of the Tudors yet, but I did enjoy reading about others besides Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Catherine of Aragon. All I knew of Margaret was from Showtime's The Tudors, and that was false altogether. Margaret was really Mary, and Mary wasn't even mentioned in the tv series. Shame on Showtime :(

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  6. I love history and I loved Rivals of the Tudor court so I hope I can read this book soon after school is over because I enjoy reading about this period a lot, not just fiction but everything related to it.

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  7. Glad to see you liked this one. I am about sick of the Tudors seriously, so I am probably going to bypass this one. Great review though!!

    Kimberlee
    www.girllostinabook.com

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    1. Oh yes, I am so sick of the Tudors!! I am glad I picked this one up though, because it is much more focused on Scotland and Margaret's life in Scotland. It's told in first person narrative thankfully, so we don't get a lot of that Henry VIII political backwash, only things that Margaret goes through herself.

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  8. I have this on the top of my list and like the others am glad to see more of her written. Great review!

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But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6