By Mike Voyce
Published by Booklocker.com.Inc, 2011
Reviewed by Rebecka Vigus, author: Secrets, Out of the Flames, and Target of Vengeance
August 4, 2011
I mistakenly believed when I sat down to read this book that I was just going to read historical fiction. Imagine my surprise and delight to find so much more.
Edward de Stafford rightful heir to the throne of England was cheated out of his birth right, money, love, and family. Edward’s father Duke Henry was beheaded for treason, when Edward was but a child. He is forced from his mother by edict of the most devious woman in British history, Lady Margaret Beaufort Countess of Richmond and Derby.
Edward is sent to live with Lady Margaret as her ward. She is determined that Edward be kept from the throne in favor of her own son Henry. Edward is drawn to Eadie the daughter of one of Lady Margaret’s ladies-in-waiting. As they frolic in the woods Edward and Eadie become inseparable playmates and best friends. That friendship grows into a deep and abiding love. However, Edward’s station and servitude to Lady Margaret keeps him from making Eadie anything more than his mistress.
Lady Margaret is the foundress of St. John’s and Christ’s colleges at Cambridge. She sends Edward there to separate him from Eadie and their daughter Abigail. Edward is forced to attend Cambridge under strict rules from Lady Margaret. While seen as a devout and pious woman, Lady Margaret is evil and bends people to her will.
She robs Edward’s properties of their rents and arranges a marriage for him. Neither Edward nor his betrothed are eager for the wedding to take place. In fact, Alianore plots with her cousin to have Edward killed on two occasions. While neither attempt is successful the relationship between them does not improve.
Edward the dutiful subject goes into service for his King (Henry VII). When the fighting is over he heads for home, but is detained in celebration. Eadie finds her life in peril. She is being persecuted as a witch. Edward returns to his home to find his love, daughter, and mentor dead. It is with heart-wrenching sadness he bears them home.
While the book is the life of Edward as seen through the eyes of the author, it is much more. It is the truth behind the Tudor Monarchy. How the machinations of one woman led to stealing the throne from the rightful heirs. History treats Lady Margaret as a kind and giving woman, truth is she was devious and underhanded. She used people for her own gain and to further the career of her son.
How much of Edward’s life was preordained? How much was the result of others using their influence? How much was Edward’s own naivety? That we will never know. Mike Voyce spins a wonderful tale while setting the record straight. Kudos for the novel way in which he approached the writing of Edward. This is a story that will stay with me for a long time.
Edward was of the house of Plantagenet. What Mike Voyce did not know when he sent me his book is Hamelin Plantagenet Earl of Surrrey deAnjou is my 21st great grandfather, making Edward part of my extended family. It was a wonderful read. I found myself there watching the scenes from the sidelines. I wanted to shout at my ancestor that he needed to pay attention there was evil working against him. I wanted to help find the truths.
If you are looking for a book that will make you think, make you question history, this is the one you want. Edward was a tragic hero. This book is filled with love, intrigue, lies, and deceit. The layers of lies and deceit changed the course of a nation. Thank you, Mike for trying to set things right.