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“Succession” by Livi Michael is a look at the two women who between them created what is known as the Tudor Dynasty. Henry VI married Margaret of Anjou, sister to the French King. Henry VI is more interested in praying for a son than actually bedding his wife, and when his wife finally gives birth to a son, many ascribe his lineage to others than Henry. Henry has descended into madness, and Margaret finds herself forced to fight for not only her rights as queen, but her son’s right to rule in the future.

At the same time, Margaret Beaufort, finds herself married twice before the age of thirteen, and gives birth to the boy who will become Henry the VII. Civil war breaks out, and heads roll as the tides of war change back and forth over the years. This two strong women must fight to protect those they love and hold dear.

“Succession” was a little hard to read as each chapter comes from a different viewpoint, requiring an eye for detail to follow the timeline. While this is a fascinating time in English history, this is not a book I would recommend for a newbie to English historical reads. But anyone who wants to delve deeper into the people and events that were the War of the Roses will find this an interesting addition to their collection.

Book Blurb for Succession

1445. King Henry VI is married by proxy to Margaret of Anjou. French, beautiful and unpopular, her marriage causes a national uproar.

At the same time, the infant Margaret Beaufort is made a great heiress and suddenly becomes the most important commodity in the nation. Her childhood is lived in remote, echoing castles, while everyone at King Henry's court competes to be her guardian and engineer an advantageous alliance with her uncle, the Duke of Somerset.

With the collapse of Henry VI's hold on France, discord among the English nobles breaks out into civil war. Henry becomes the mad king, and Margaret of Anjou declares herself Queen Regent, left alone to fight for her son's position as rightful heir. Meanwhile, Margaret Beaufort, although still little more than a child at thirteen, has been married twice and given birth to her only son--the future King of England.

Succession is an imaginative and engrossing novel about the events that inspired George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. It's the story of the fall of the House of Lancaster and of the two remarkable women who gave birth to the Tudor dynasty. The dramatic plot is supplemented with short chronicles that were written at the time, further rooting readers in the history.

Night Owl Reviews Nov, 2015 3.50