Review: The King's Grace by Anne Easter Smith

Anne Easter Smith has become one of my favorite historical authors. I thoroughly enjoyed her "Rose for the Crown" and "Daughter of York" and her latest "King's Grace" was no exception!

"The King's Grace" is the story of Lady Grace Plantagenet, the bastard daughter of King Edward IV of England. The story takes you from the time that Grace was released from the abbey at age 11 to being accepted as a member of court and into her adulthood, becoming a wife and mother of her own. During those years, she was one of the privileged few that attended the funeral barge of the Dowager Queen Elizabeth (the widowed queen of Edward IV) and was thus half-sister of the famous young princes who disappeared into the Tower and were presumed murdered by the Richard III. Due to her involvement at court, it is believed that she was at the very least familiar (if not involved) with the events that occurred when King Richard III was killed in battle at Bosworth and Henry VII of Tudor took over the throne.

In the 1490's, a young man appears at the courts of Europe claiming to be Richard, Duke of York, the younger of the two princes and rightful heir to the English throne. This moment in time sets off a series of a events that affects (and involves) most of Europe - including Grace herself. However, could this young man really be Richard, Duke of York and her half-brother, or is he just an impostor and puppet for those who want to take the crown back for the Yorks? This book focuses much on the Perkin Warbeck story (the young man referenced above) and as so little is known about the actual fate of the real princes; this is a very plausible explanation.

As usual, Anne Easter Smith did not disappoint me. She has a way of taking you back in time and allowing you to learn, understand and visualize the past. Her books are lengthy and not necessarily read quickly, but that is because she doesn't just tell you the story, she explains it! Being an aspiring Historian myself, her books have really been a great learning tool for me. She remains as close to the truth as records allow and what she cannot confirm, she will interpret or guess to the best of her ability. She doesn't claim anything as truth unless she can justify it so I've learned to trust what she writes. She attempts to explain the incredibly complex political and social structures of 15th & 16th century Europe all the while weaving in a captivating love story.

Many historical novels I've read are written using our language as we speak it today (which makes sense because it's what we know). However, A.E.S. writes her books in such a way where the language sounds foreign & outdated, but can still be understood by our modern ears.
This allows the reader to be transported to a time long before our own while still understanding what is being said. I also recently learned (via her website) that she also visits every place that she writes about. I have such admiration for that level of research & commitment to a project!

As a fellow blogger, Meghan once mentioned, "historical fiction is meant to fill in the bones of history, not change their shape" and with this I couldn't agree more!!

I give this book ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ and highly recommend it (as well as her others) to those who not only love historical novels, but have a desire to learn more about the past! Photobucket

"In my novels, I strive to serve those readers who are looking for accuracy in historical fact and yet also engage those who are looking for a good story with strong characters, a little romance and lots of period detail."
- Anne Easter Smith


  1. Hi my fellow Book Soulmate!

    Just wanted to say that I just read your review and loved it. You have not been able to stop talking about this book so I KNOW it HAS to be awesome. I can't wait to read it! See ya Tomorrow!



  2. wow Isa great review I'm not into Historical books but you make this book sound awesome!!!!!!!!!
    Will put it on my to read list


  3. This one is on my "to read" list, even though Smith isn't my favorite HF author, she writes well and chooses very intriguing subject matter!

  4. This book sounds wonderful; thanks for the review; great blog too!

  5. This book sounds wonderful. I love the cover. Great review.

  6. Beautiful review. I started reading some historical fiction (I love historical romances) and wanted to read something even more rich as well as learning more of the culture and society then. I in fact have "Rose for the Crown" that I pick up as a Bargain Book recently at Barnes & Nobles to give hers a try. Are her books related in any way? (Characters)?

    I shall plan to read Rose For The Crown soon. I love when they use the language of then when its a way that lets you 'feel' and 'hear' within you of how it was back then. I've read a few like that, that flowed nicely (others were harder) so with knowing hers is geared towards the reader now without losing that accent of then, sounds great!

  7. Hi Caffey =)

    Yes, her books are all related (so far at least). They involve many of the same characters, but each book is dedicated to a specific person and follows their life. As you read on, you'll see that many events overlap because you are reading them from the perspective of the protagonist of that book.

    I actually read "Daughter of York" first even though it was her 2nd publication. I would recommend that you do the same; read "Daughter of York" first, then "Rose For The Crown", followed by "King's Grace". I found that this sequence helped me really get to know and understand the characters.

    With regards to the language, Old English or Latin were the more common languages of the day, but we'd never understand it, lol. I think A.E.S. does a nice job of incorporating some of the terminology of the day but still within our current language structure...makes it easier to understand!

    I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did. Feel free to write me any time you want to have an Anne Easter Smith or Historical chat =)

    Book ♥ Soulmates

  8. The thing I really liked about reading all three of these books is that they tie into each other, obviously it is the same family but various stories are weaved together to give you a clearer picture and deeper understanding. Although the mystery of the two princes in the tower and what happened to them will, I fear, remain an unsolved historical mystery.

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