Book Review

Cecily by Annie Garthwaite


The word is a spark. They can start a fire with it, or smother it in their fingertips.
She chooses to start a fire.

You are born high, but marry a traitor’s son. You bear him twelve children, carry his cause and bury his past.

You play the game, against enemies who wish you ashes. Slowly, you rise.

You are Cecily.

But when the king who governs you proves unfit, what then?

Loyalty or treason – death may follow both. The board is set. Time to make your first move.

Told through the eyes of its greatest unknown protagonist, this astonishing debut plunges you into the closed bedchambers and bloody battlefields of the first days of the Wars of the Roses, a war as women fight it.

My Review:

I am totally and utterly fascinated by Cecily, wife of Richard, Duke of York and mother of King Edward the IV. The Tudor history in 1400s, to me, was a blood history. It was brutal, it was games of thrones. Cecily by Annie Garthwaite has brilliantly portrait this part of history and given us a protagonist that I have never known about but ended up exclaiming “what a woman!”

This was a story about survival. If you did not outwit your enemy, your game would be lost and you and your family would be the one to be killed. It was a story about husband and wife, about motherhood, about kingdom, about royalty and most of all, the will and desire to survive. What roles can a woman play? Wife, mother, politician, strategist, prayer, Cecily were these and more.

I have google most of the characters mentioned in the story. It is clear how much research the author has put in writing this book. She has given me a heroine that has been forgiven by history but once again, the clever, royal, cunning and ambitious Cecily showed us the will of a woman is strong and unbendable.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book! If you love a historical fiction, if you love to read stories set in Tudor period, if you love a strong protagonist, you will love this book! Thank you so much Viking Books for gifting me this gorgeous copy!

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