Title: Dark Queen Rising
Author: Paul Doherty
Publication Date & Publisher: October 1, 2018, Severn House
Genre(s): Historical Fiction
Length: 224 pages
My Rating: 3.0/5.0
Description (from Goodreads):
First in a brand-new historical mystery series featuring Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII and matriarch of the Tudor dynasty.
May, 1471. The Wars of the Roses are reaching their bitter and bloody climax. Edward of York has claimed the English throne, and his supporters are extracting a savage revenge on all who supported the Lancastrian cause. Surrounded by enemies wherever she turns, the position of Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and mother to Henry Tudor, the last remaining hope of the House of Lancaster, is precarious to say the least.
Determined to protect her son whatever it takes, Margaret must rely on her sharp-witted clerk Christopher Ulswicke to be her eyes and ears. When four bodies are discovered in a London tavern, their throats slit, and Margaret herself is suspected of being behind the crime, it’s up to Ulswicke to prove his mistress’ innocence and unmask the real killer.
This may be a really confusing review… which is probably good because I’m really conflicted on exactly how I feel about Dark Queen Rising.
I picked Dark Queen Rising fully expecting more murder mystery than historical fiction, but I personally wouldn’t have categorized it as a mystery at all.
Although it didn’t have the mystery I was looking for, overall, I did actually enjoy the story. It begins with Margaret witnessing a horrific slaughter in what should have been a place of sanctuary. (I mean, how could you go wrong from there, right?)
The story goes back and forth between Margaret and her trusted henchman, Ulswicke. Ulswicke was definitely my favorite character in this book! He’s funny, smart, and scary all at the same time. He also came across as more of believable/relatable character than Margaret (which seems a little odd now that I’m sitting here writing it down for all the world to see. I mean, he kinda kills some people… weird).
At the beginning of the book, there are a lot of people thrown at you and it got confusing for me trying to keep up with everyone. Thankfully, it doesn’t take long for the main characters to surface and it gets easier to follow who’s who, who did what, who’s on who’s side, etc. There was also a handy dandy list of key players at the start, so that was nice!
There were times when it seemed like there was too much detail and it slowed the pacing down for me. Other times, I couldn’t seem to put the book down because I was so into it! (Another sign of how conflicted I am with this one!)
I could totally see this being made into a movie. And I’d definitely go watch it… and I’ll probably be reading the next book in this series when it comes out… So a definite “okay” pick…
I’d recommend it for fans of historical fiction, especially fans of fiction during the War of the Roses.