Monday, December 23, 2013

REVIEW: Royal Mistress: A Novel by Anne Easter Smith


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.


"This story of a freewoman makes for a refreshing change, and Easter Smith, who specializes in the mistress subgenre, includes some rich historical text."
(The Washington Post)
"Anne Easter Smith is Queen of the 15th-century British scene, the chronicler of the endlessly fascinating and monstrously complex War of the Roses. . . . Meticulously researched and with a real sense of place and time — and pretty steamy."
(Newburyport Current)
“A very readable, intriguing look at Jane as both a mistress and an intimate participant in the royal circle.”
(Historical Novel Society)
“Anne Easter Smith creates a vivid tapestry of life in the slippery court of Edward IV and illuminates the masterful commoner mistress who survived by her instincts and charm."
(Margaret George, author of Elizabeth I)

  About the Author

A native of England, Anne Easter Smith has lived in the United States for more than forty years. She was the features editor at a newspaper in New York State and now lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, with her husband, Scott. You can visit her website at

My Review:

Anne Easter Smith does not disappoint with “Royal Mistress: A Novel”. I have read and loved all of her books, and this one was a great read as well. I appreciate how she stays true to historical facts, but does so in an interesting and engaging way. The characters were well developed, and by the end I felt like I knew them all. Jane Shore’s character was very well written, and as a reader you really cared for her and for her welfare. I really liked that the author chose to write from several different character’s perspectives. It really helps the reader to follow the entire story of what was going on during that time period, not just what was going on with Jane during that time. I’m a huge history buff, so I really liked reading about the lives of other people, like King Richard and Will Hastings.  I also liked that the author continued Jane’s story past when King Edward IV died. Her life didn’t end at his death, and although she was his mistress, she did have a life outside of him. It was nice to read about what happened to her, and where her life lead her after he died. In fact, some of the most interesting events happened after he died, and she was no longer a royal mistress.

The author was very descriptive, and I was able to imagine what was happening clearly while reading. This is a novel that anyone interested in historical fiction would really enjoy. Her description of Jane and the people in Jane’s life are clear and creative. Anne Easter Smith is an amazing author, and those who are fans of England’s Kings and Queens should definitely pick up her books to read if they have not already done so. She is wonderful at creating a novel about a historical character, and adding just enough romance and action to make it a novel that is hard to put down!

I definitely give this novel a FIVE out of FIVE stars!

1 comment:

  1. Royal Mistress sounds like an amazing read! Awesome that you gave it 5 out of 5 stars. :) I love this time period and can't wait to read this one. Thanks so much for sharing. :)