20892659A beautifully written historical novel about the War of the Roses. Joanna Hickson presents this novel crammed packed full of historical facts, from events, people and places. I always think that reading historical novels, written accurately is the most enjoyable way of learning. Maybe high schools should encourage pupils to read this way and then discuss what they have learnt in class?

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Harper
  • Expected Publishing date:  4 Dec 2014
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007447019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007447015



The powerful story of Cecily Neville, torn between both sides in the War of the Roses. Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory.

Richard, the thirteen-year-old Duke of York, England’s richest heir.
Told through the eyes of Cicely and her half-brother Cuthbert, Red Rose, White Rose is the story of one of the most powerful women in England during one of its most turbulent periods. Born of Lancaster and married to York, the willowy and wayward Cicely treads a hazardous path through love, loss and imprisonment and between the violent factions of Lancaster and York, as the Wars of the Roses tear England’s ruling families apart.
So nearly queen herself, Cicely Neville was the mother, grandmother and great-grandmother of kings – and her descendants still wear the crown.


My thoughts on this book

The book is both interesting and entertaining, showing the strength and politic mannerisms of historical figures during that time. I often think about what it must have been like to live in the 15th Century with the tentative relationships between families stretching loyalties, and risking displeasure of others. Especially when loyalty to the King who was weak could be seen as disloyal to your own family and the risk of that could mean being killed as a traitor.

I loved the women characters, especially Cicely who matures from a child into an influential woman of her time. There is a great feel to the way each of the characters are portrayed in a way to give an authentic feel to what I was reading.

The bits that did not work for me:

There was such a lot of information that I couldn’t manage to hold it all in my head. Not only does Hickson give copious amounts of accurate details she also includes minor information such as pet names for each person which totally confused me. Because I was struggling to remember it all I lost the excitement of story.  Having said that I am sure that most people wouldn’t have the same problem.

Would I recommend this book: Yes definitely, it is well worth the read.

Joanna has written numerous well received historical novels, you can check out her Goodreads profile here: Joanna Hickson 



Many thanks to the publisher for a digital copy of this book via NetGalley in return for an honest review.