Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith is a historical novel about Jane Shore, also known as the “merriest mistress” of Edward IV. It is a story of lust, love, power, and the political intrigue of this time period that Anne Easter Smith brought to our imagination in this century.
“Jane Lambert, the quick-witted and alluring daughter of a silk merchant, is twenty-two and still unmarried. When Jane’s father finally finds her a match, she’s married off to the dull, older silk merchant William Shore. Marriage doesn’t stop Jane from flirtation, however, and when the king’s chamberlain, Will Hastings, comes to her husband’s shop, Will knows King Edward will find her irresistible.
Edward IV has everything: power, majestic bearing, superior military leadership, a sensual nature, and charisma. And with Jane as his mistress, he also finds true happiness. But when his hedonistic tendencies get in the way of being the strong leader England needs, his life, as well as those of Jane and Will Hastings, hangs in the balance. Jane must rely on her talents to survive as the new monarch, Richard III, bent on reforming his brother’s licentious court, ascends the throne.
This dramatic tale has been an inspiration to poets and playwrights for five hundred years, and, as told through the unique perspective of a woman plucked from obscurity and thrust into a life of notoriety, Royal Mistress is sure to enthrall today’s historical fiction lovers as well. ” – Royal Mistress
Royal Mistress is a very captivating novel. Personally, I enjoy historical fiction and history in general. I know not everyone likes this type of novel, but if you give this one a chance, I think that you will surprise yourself and keep reading it right up to the very end.
Jane is a young, vibrant, and naïve character. She is being told what to do all the time by her father, who eventually marries her off to a man she doesn’t love. Marriage doesn’t keep her from doing what she wants though, and she becomes the mistress of King Edward IV. Everything changes for the both of them from there, and this book helps us to see Jane become a stronger, more powerful version of the girl we see from the start of the novel.
Overall, I found this novel to be well-written, interesting, and captivating. Even though I knew the basics of the story of what happened in history, reading it out in this novel changed my perspective of it, and I quite enjoyed it. I highly recommend it.
* Thank you to the publisher of Royal Mistress, Touchstone, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.