Friday, August 29, 2014

REVIEW: The Golden Widows by Isolde Martyn


Two young women on opposing sides find their lives wrecked by battle...can they be restored by love?

As sister to Warwick the Kingmaker and cousin to the new young
King Edward IV, Kate Neville finds herself on the winning side of the latest bloody battle of the War of the Roses — and under pressure to marry again. Kate’s family want to ensure her new husband will be someone they control, such as the king’s handsome chamberlain, Lord William Hastings, but Kate is refusing. Hastings has a reputation as a womaniser and she wants a man who won’t betray her like her first husband did. But the debonair Hastings is determined to win her heart. Can she thwart her brother’s plans for her?

Elysabeth Woodville is a beautiful young woman, much adored by her husband, Sir John Grey. But when he is killed in battle on the losing side and named as a traitor, his estate is seized by the Yorkists and Elysabeth finds herself penniless and friendless. In her desperate struggle to restore her sons’ inheritance, she finds herself not only kneeling before her enemy but winning his heart. Is she is too proud to become his mistress? Or does the King of England love her enough to ignore his friends’ advice and make her his queen?

In the precarious peace of a bloody civil war, can love heal wounds and reunite families?


The Golden Widows by Isolde Martyn was a fantastic piece of historical fiction. Once I started I found it impossible to put down! I love historical fiction that gives me a new perspective on the lives of people I have read about previously. This novel let me look at what Elysabeth Woodville’s life might have been like BEFORE she met King Edward IV. All of the other novels that I have read that she has been a part of have been about her life when she first met the king or after she met him. They include the romantic way they met and married, and then the books are about her life as a queen, and about her children. It was interesting to read about what her life might have been like with her first husband, Sir John Grey. I had always wondered what her life was like before becoming queen, and I thought it was interesting to see Ms. Martyn’s idea of what her first marriage and life were like. It was also interesting to see what the great Earl of Warwick’s sister’s life was like. I had never read about Kate Neville before this book, but she definitely had an interesting life. Most novels focus on her brother, The Kingmakers life, so it was refreshing to see what another member of his family was doing at the time he was making kings and causing problems between King Edward and his brothers!

I am so glad that I came across this novel on Netgalley, and that they accepted my request to read and review it. I will definitely be looking forward to other novels by Isolde Martyn!

I give this novel a FIVE out of FIVE stars!


Isolde is a lady with an absolute passion for history and writing historical fiction is a wonderful way to share her enthusiasm.

Winning both a RITA-award (the romance equivalant of an Oscar) in the USA plus the mainstream 'Romantic Novel of the Year Award' in Australia for her debut novel The Maiden and the Unicorn was a tremendous thrill after years when 'Life' just got in the way of writing! Being married to a geologist, whose job took him away into the field a great deal, meant that for many years bringing up their two children always came first for her.

Isolde grew up in London and has a History Honours degree from the University of Exeter, UK, with a specialisation in Yorkist England, a lifelong passion. Falling into conversation with a post-graduate at a bus stop in Dorset, she somehow found herself moving to Perth, Western Australia, half a year later. She has since warned young women waiting at that particular bus stop that casual conversations can lead to a change of continents.

Since arriving in Australia, she has worked as a university history tutor, research assistant and archivist. Her other career has been editing and she was a Senior Book Editor with a major international publishing house before writing fiction full-time. She now divides her time between Sydney and the UK, and one of her delights is in being Vice-Chair of the Plantagent Society of Australia, which she co-founded with five other enthusiasts twelve years ago. And, by the way, Bus Stop Day is still an annual celebration!

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