22 November 2022

The Godmother's Secret by Elizabeth St. John Review!


If you knew the fate of the Princes in the Tower would you tell? Or forever keep the secret?

May 1483: The Tower of London. When King Edward IV dies and Lady Elysabeth Scrope delivers her young godson, Edward V, into the Tower of London to prepare for his coronation, she is engulfed in political turmoil. Within months, the prince and his brother have disappeared, Richard III is declared king, and Elysabeth’s sister Margaret Beaufort conspires with her son Henry Tudor to invade England and claim the throne.

Desperate to protect her godson, Elysabeth battles the intrigue, betrayal and power of the last medieval court, defying her Yorkist husband and her Lancastrian sister under her godmother’s sacred oath to keep Prince Edward safe. Bound by blood and rent by honour, Elysabeth is torn between the crown and her family, knowing that if her loyalty is questioned, she is in peril of losing everything—including her life.

Were the princes murdered by their uncle, Richard III? Did Margaret Beaufort mastermind their disappearance to usher in the Tudor dynasty? Or did the young boys vanish for their own safety? Of anyone at the royal court, Elysabeth has the most to lose–and the most to gain–by keeping secret the fate of the Princes in the Tower.

Inspired by England’s most enduring historical mystery, Elizabeth St. John blends her family history with known facts and centuries of speculation to create an intriguing story about what happened to the Princes in the Tower.

Elizabeth St.John’s critically acclaimed historical fiction novels tell the stories of her ancestors: extraordinary women whose intriguing kinship with England's kings and queens brings an intimately unique perspective to Medieval, Tudor, and Stuart times.

Inspired by family archives and residences from Lydiard Park to the Tower of London, Elizabeth spends much of her time exploring ancestral portraits, diaries, and lost gardens. And encountering the occasional ghost. But that’s another story.

My Thoughts 

The Godmother's Secret by Elizabeth St.John is the story of "The Princes in the Tower". Lady Elysabeth Scrope after attending the birth of Edward V, heir to the throne of England, Lady Scrope is tasked with being the person to protect Edward from the avarice of his family. Because she is a female, she has restrictions on what she can and can't do with the prince. She knows that she will do all she can to protect the future King of England.

After Edward's father, dies, Edward is to be crowned the King. Duke of Gloucester, and the Duke of Buckingham have other plans. Edward (Ned) and his brother are put in the Tower of London to 'protect' them. Lady Scrope has no trust in the two Dukes. She feels that they are doing what they are for nefarious reasons. 

Margaret Beaufort is Lady Scropes sister, and she desperately wants her son Henry Tudor to be the next king and she will do what she can to see that this comes to fruition. Thus, the War of the Roses.  After the boys were put in the Tower, Ned thought he was just in the Tower for safekeeping and to get ready for his coronation. That does not happen as we know, and King Richard III is put on the throne. He tells Lady Scrope that he is 'protecting the boys' from anyone who wishes them ill.

Margaret Beaufort will do whatever she can to see that her son is on the throne. After Richard is killed in the Battle of Bosworth. Edwards sister is Elizabeth of York, marries Henry Tudor and this puts an end to the War of the Roses. So, what happened to Edward and his brother Dickon? No one really knows, bones were found somewhere in the Tower, but they have not been tested so will we ever know? I like to think that Lady Scrope was able to spirit the boys away and they lived long and happy lives away from the machinations of the court. But will we ever know what actually happened to the boys? Will the bones that were found going to be tested? We may never know but I like to think that they grew up happy and had great lives even if not on the throne as was Edwards destiny

I am a huge fan of historical fiction and The Godmother's Secret for me is one of the best I have read. Elizabeth St. John did a humongous amount of research to try to keep the novel true to history. The characters leapt off the pages and you could almost believe that the reader was right there in this treacherous time in English history. 

Of course, I will be giving this novel 5 stars, truly deserves more but that is all I can do. I do plan on reading more by Elizabeth St. John. If you are a fan of historical fiction and this period, then go read this book! You won't be disappointed. 

I received a copy of the book for review purposes only.

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