Synopsis from Goodreads: In the winter of 1483, Francis Lovell is Richard III’s Lord Chamberlain and confidant, but the threat of Henry Tudor’s rebels has the king entrusting to Francis and his wife, Anne, his most crucial mission: protecting the young Richard of York, his brother’s surviving son and a threat to Henry’s claims to the throne.
Two years later, Richard III is dead, and Anne hides the young prince of York while Francis is hunted by agents of the new king, Henry VII. Running out of options to keep her husband and the boy safe, Anne uses the power of an ancient family relic to send them away, knowing that in doing so she will never see Francis again.
In the present day, Serena Warren has been haunted by her past ever since her twin sister, Caitlin, disappeared. But when Caitlin’s bones are discovered interred in a church vault that hasn’t been opened since the eighteenth century, the police are baffled. Piecing together local folklore that speaks of a magical relic with her own hazy memories of the day Caitlin vanished, Serena begins to uncover an impossible secret that her grandfather has kept hidden, one that connects her to Anne, Francis and the young Duke of York.
Like many, the story of Richard III and the princes in the tower has fascinated me for years and I was delighted to see another book that focuses on this time period. Told in 2 story lines, one contemporary and one in the late 14th century, this focuses on the Lovells, specifically Anne and Francis, who were contemporaries of Richard III. Francis Lovell was one of Richard’s close friends and advisors.
The story has a similar feel to Susanna Kearsley’s writing with time travel and the dual story line advancing the plot. I felt like the contemporary sections were less engaging, but the historical ones really carried the narrative for me. I do agree with some other reviews that there were a lot of characters thrown into the historical sections and having at least a basic grasp of who the characters are already would be of help to the reader in following the plot. I think I wanted a little bit more detail, or at least a less easily tied-up ending to the contemporary story, which felt a little bit too convenient.
Overall, I’m giving this one 3-1/2 out of 5 stars (rounded up to 4). It was an entertaining read and a subject matter I find interesting but would have liked a little bit more development of the contemporary storyline to better balance the book.
Thank you to NetGalley for a preview copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.