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More From Valentine's Day. Although I'm not an expert in history, I have read a lot of books concerning this period, and always look forward to reading more. My pleasure soon turned to dismay as I started reading. Through the first few chapters I had a Will paste my review of the whole series or as much of it as I was able to read from Amazon here. Through the first few chapters I had a growing but unspecific feeling of unease - something about the prose didn't ring true. It was nothing I could put my finger on; aspects of the writing didn't feel authentic.
I persevered. Eventually I stumbled across details that I knew were wrong. For instance, in this period the term "Your Majesty" to address the King or Queen had not yet been introduced. This didn't come about until the time of the Tudors. Plantagenet monarchs were content to be addressed as "Your Grace".
Next, Edward IV was several times described as wearing a collar of interlinked S's. Yorkist collars tended to consist of roses and suns - the interlinked S collars were favoured by the Lancastrian nobility. Then in book 2 of the series we were asked to believe there was a Jewish money-lender in Whitby. As this story is set slap bang in the middle of the three hundred and fifty year period during which all Jews were banned from England, I find this hard to believe.
Book 3 which I've read, living as I do outside the US would have us believe a crescent moon sailed the sky for an entire night. I ask "On which planet?! The only moon that is seen all night is a full moon. These known inaccuracies ruined the book for me. I found myself questioning every detail I read. Was it true? Was it authentic? Or was it just a flight of fancy or wishful thinking on behalf of the author? In the end I was unable to finish the 3rd book in the series because I found myself irritated to the point that I no longer cared about the fates of the characters.
I'm only grateful that I got the books out of the library rather than spending hard earned cash on them. I'm left wondering how such glaring errors could make their way into a published book Shelves: historical , medieval , neo-bodice-ripper , reviewed , romance , zzz , keepers-historical-fic , cover-me-blue , paperback-swap , mary-sue-puke-bucket.
Quite honestly, I don't care. As far as I'm concerned, historical fiction has the freedom to play with facts. Which is what the author provided. I make no excuses.
I have no shame. But it's not just her newfound royal heritage that shatters Anne's conception of the world. What are the responsibilities of one who is unwillingly dragged into the clash of the court? Is there ever such a thing as true innocence in love or politics? Quite simply, there's a thread of gritty, bodice-ripping trashiness in this novel.
It's obvious the author was having a good time with the melodramatic antics of her characters, but it's equally obvious that many readers were misled by the demure soft-focus cover. Don't be one of those people. It's a sexualized historical melodrama that centers on a fictional character -- so that bothers you, skip it. I can't lie; the book isn't without flaws. That said, the biggest annoyance is Anne's uber-eye-rolling Mary Sue status. Her saving grace is that she really is a NICE person; even when you're sighing at the incredible, implausible, utterly sticky-sweet nature of her personality, you can't wish the poor girl ill.
But hey Just imagine THAT cornering you alone in the hallway. Overall, this was a fun read. I can see myself visiting it again someday. There are two more books, but this one offers enough closure to be satisfying on its own. View all 11 comments. Dec 27, Karla rated it really liked it Recommends it for: readers who don't mind a bit of trashy sensation in their HF.
Shelves: monarchs-plantagenets , adultery , historical-romance , erasth-century , eras-medieval , secret-baby , dead-tree. This book took me by surprise. I didn't think I'd enjoy it as much as I did. The back cover description screams "Mary Sue" and the heroine was indeed quite Mary Sueish. She can sense if she will have a bond with someone, people see halos of light around her, and she charms males left and right into lust or genuine caring. By all rights she should have been thoroughly obnoxious, and while she did irritate here and there, the story was told in an ingratiating way so that the occasional eyeroll did This book took me by surprise.
By all rights she should have been thoroughly obnoxious, and while she did irritate here and there, the story was told in an ingratiating way so that the occasional eyeroll didn't signify. Anne has lived in the backwoods all her life and comes to London to work in the house of a rich merchant and falls in love - and feels a preternatural bond - with King Edward IV when she sees him walking to Mass. Her skills with herbs and potions during Queen Elizabeth's rough labor - and Edward's growing lust for the young maiden - gets her a position in the royal court as handmaid to the Queen. While she tries to navigate the intrigue and the Queen's volatile temperament, she falls ever deeper in love with her King.
But Anne isn't all that she appears, and there's a big secret about her origins that threatens to force her and Edward apart forever. A Mary Sueish character, a made-up romance for a well-known horndog monarch, and plenty of trashy, melodramatic moments with huge helpings of sex. Could have been a real mixed bag, but the author wrote in a way that I really liked, despite a tendency to head-hop in scenes.
It's not high-falutin' historical fiction, but historical romance that is definitely not wallpaper and has a piquant flavor of delectable trash. Perfect for when the mood strikes. I'll definitely be continuing with this trilogy. View all 25 comments. Nov 04, Barb rated it did not like it Recommends it for: people who like Romance Novels.
Shelves: read-in , hfplantangenet , series-trilogy. Anne, a young peasant girl, comes to London where she is able to Anne is amazingly skilled with herbs and is able to apply her skills where no one else can. She assists in the healing of her employer and then goes on to offer her aid to the queen.
There are so many logic defying turns in this story that by the e This is a Romance Novel with a thin backdrop of a very diluted 15th century England where Edward the IV is king. There are so many logic defying turns in this story that by the end I really couldn't wait for it to be done. It was as if the entire story was contrived for the sole purpose of bringing us to the conclusion of this book. There was a lot of sex, I don't mind sex in my fiction as long as it's believable and tastefully done. But this sex wasn't believable for these characters.
I don't fault the writer for including the rape scene and the abuse at the hands of the masochistic pervert. I thought that part of the story actually gave the book some drama and tension but it was resolved very quickly and somewhat simply and then that story line was finished. The relationships between the characters do not ring true, the events that unfold do not ring true.
The characters reactions to events are contrived. Deborah who has known Anne's heritage all along suddenly wants to bow to her now that her parentage has been revealed to the reader? It doesn't make any sense. And the woman who was present for Anne's birth forgot about her? Again I didn't find it believable and there's more I didn't find believable but I can't say exactly what without revealing too much of what happens. There is a mystical theme that felt forced and underdeveloped, it just wasn't well done. The characters are flat and suffer from 'flip-flop' where they contemplate a situation, make a decision to do one thing and then actually do the complete opposite which usually involves sex.
I never felt that Anne did anything because she actually wanted to, it felt like she did it because Posie Graeme-Evans made her do it. The story itself falls flat from beginning to end. There are just too many things that don't make any sense. I will say that some of the details were done well, the lice and the smells and sounds of London.
If you don't mind logic and common sense lacking in the books you read you might just like this story. If you really just like a lot of sex in your fiction pick this one up. If you are a critical reader I would suggest you keep looking for your next favorite book, you might want to try Sharon Kay Penman's 'Sunne In Splendour' which is so well done. View all 7 comments. Sep 29, Kelly rated it liked it Recommends it for: Constance. Shelves: historicalfiction. I am enjoying this, though it is a little melodramatic at times.
I'd give it 3. I think my problem with most historical fiction is that most books will never be as good as Dorothy Dunnett's. View all 3 comments. Nov 19, Deborah Pickstone rated it did not like it Shelves: authors-most-annoyed-by , don-t-go-there , frankly-ludicrous , historical-howlers , history-of-all-things , serieses-fictional , bizarre-plot , fantasy-of-sorts , embarrassingly-bad , plantagenet.
This novel is a lesson to all HF authors on what not to do. Not only does the author disregard both historical progression and historical minutiae and insert a fantasy of her own but her plotting is on a level of unfeasibility and wild imagining that makes Bernard Cornwell look positively restrained and cautious!
It opens with a young girl in end stage labour being pursued with murderous intent by soldiers. It is not immediately clear why this is so - why they wish to seize the putative child - This novel is a lesson to all HF authors on what not to do. It is not immediately clear why this is so - why they wish to seize the putative child - and when we do find out it is an even more ludicrous notion. I imagine this author believes that Princess Diana was murdered by MI5 or whoever , that Elvis lives and breathes and that Dan Brown writes factual books.
She may also have given birth by proxy. I have to say, she has a very vivid imagination! Anyway, she had stretched my willing suspension of disbelief faculty to snapping point within the first chapter. And that was without any historical criticism though the book is littered with errors like leaves in an autumn wood. I confess to skim reading in horror due to being a nosy enough to want to know whose child it was and b because it was like watching a car crash.
I won't be reading any more of the series - or anything else by this author, who is Australian and much talked about here as a good writer. I was so horribly disappointed in this book. Its more fiction than history, and uses the historical figures as a pale background to a Mary Sue character.
Anne is just too perfect, I didn't get the chemistry between her and Edward, and everything from the point where Anne view spoiler [discovers her ancestry hide spoiler ] made me want to give up on the book. There was a good way to create this character: this view spoiler [illegitimate princess hide spoiler ] who falls for the King, but The I I was so horribly disappointed in this book.
There was a good way to create this character: this view spoiler [illegitimate princess hide spoiler ] who falls for the King, but The Innocent did not live up to the expectations or the hype. The book ends abruptly and cliff hangs into the second book.
Unfortunately, after pages, I simply did not care about Anne enough to slog through another book. Two stars for okay writing. One compliment I'd give to Graeme-Evans was her description of the atmosphere of London. The smell, the trash and the bugs don't often make it into historical fictions and I was glad to see it included in The Innocent. Aug 04, Amanda rated it really liked it. Where do I start with this book? Well, recently I've had a problem with not finding a book that can hold my interest. I think I went through about four or five books before I found this little gem. It not only held my interest, but I was so hooked that I read it in two days.
I wouldn't say the book is amazing, but it definitely caught my attention. The Innocent follows the life of the mysterious Anne. She Where do I start with this book? She was born in the forests of England in the s in the midst of a bloody civil war. Fifteen years later she enters the house of Sir Matthew to work as a servant for his wife, Lady Margaret. It isn't long, however, until Anne is pulled into the politics and escapades of the household and is forced down the path to adulthood.
After Anne uses her knowledge of herbs to help Lady Margaret, word spreads to King Edward IV, and she is brought to his household to help the queen through the labors of childbirth. It isn't long, of course, until the king takes special notice of Anne and sets out to take her innocence. Even though this book does take a little while to pick up steam, when it does -it's pretty steamy.
I was a little surprised by the inclusion of so many sexual comments and scenes because it didn't really seem like what I signed up for after reading the back -but at least most of them seemed to serve a purpose if slightly overdone. The story particularly picked up in the final third of the book when the focus shifted from romance to political intrigue.
I've always been a bigger fan of that than romance, so I was on the edge of my seat when it finally happened. The real star of this novel, however, was the pure, effortless skill woven into Graeme-Evans' prose. It was very easy to read, had short, manageable chapters and details so vivid I could see everything. I was particularly amazed by the writing in this book. Even though the plot and characters weren't amazing, Graeme-Evans is able to convey crystal-clear scenes with astonishing details this woman definitely did her research!
However, there are a few small issues that keep this novel from being great. First, some of the characters become a little inconsistent in personality throughout the novel and tend to be a little flat -of course, this isn't too noticeable, but would definitely help strengthen the novel. It also seems like it takes a long time to get to the plot that was originally advertised with the book, so I felt a little bit like I had to wade through too much before I got to what I was expecting.
Overall, The Innocent is an enjoyable, though improbable, historical romance novel that is something of a cross between Ken Follett Pillars of the Earth and Philippa Gregory's Tudor Court novels set in the 15th century. It'll appeal to history lovers and readers who appreciate good world building and intricate detail. An enjoyable and fun read that'll keep you going and leave you wanting more.
Jul 18, Pauline Montagna rated it did not like it. Already put off by the sloppy writing, fantastical characterisation and implausible plotting, I had to put the book aside when I got to the pornographic sex. Born under strange circumstances, Anne is brought up in Arcadian innocence in an enchanted forest, learning about the healing power of herbs. When she reaches her teenage years, she is taken from this isolated and idyllic life directly into the heart of the city of London and put into the household of a powerful merchant with links to the court. Is it any wonder I felt no need to continue?
I had to ask myself how could this amateurish effort have been published and go on to spawn a whole series. And who is the author that she should so well understand this fact? Does that answer my question? What a swansong! View 1 comment. Apr 20, Steph Su rated it really liked it. The author gorgeously places us into the heads of all the characters, however minor, so that we are able to get a sense of their thoughts and feelings, their conflicts and uncertainties. However, I was most bothered by some of the characters and their relationships with one another.
The protagonist, Anne, was just too perfect, the perfectly helpless damsel in distress whose occasional bursts of confidence and assuredness seemed fake in light of her more consistent ability to not have a spine. Similarly, I found the romance between Anne and King Edward unrealistic. I got no inkling of the chemistry between them, just an unfathomable draw of—what, hormones? Dec 08, Natasa rated it it was ok Shelves: plantagenets , elizabeth-woodville , wars-of-the-roses.
The first part was intense I was definitely sitting on the edge of my seat but that's not enough because everything else was ridiculous. Apr 07, Elia Princess of Starfall rated it it was ok Shelves: author-hang-your-head-in-shame , religion-is-messed-up , cliches-ahead , historical-fiction , weak-whiny-woeful , inadequate , ah-the-follies-of-youth , mary-sue-overload , middle-ages , violence-and-gore. The Innocent is the story of the red-headed and all-round perfect peasant girl with a mysterious past Anne de Bohun and her rather ludicrous escapades through the politically tangled era of the Wars of the Roses.
This is a rather peculiar book, a sort of hybrid chimera; equal parts historical fiction and trashy, melodramatic and rather depraved sexual intrigue and romance. In fact, I would go so far to say that this book is absolut The Innocent is the story of the red-headed and all-round perfect peasant girl with a mysterious past Anne de Bohun and her rather ludicrous escapades through the politically tangled era of the Wars of the Roses.
This isn't a terrible book. The writing is competent and brimming with energy. Fast-paced and sharply plotted, The Innocent is a quick and easy read; nothing is over complicated. I actually read this novel in less then four days. I was genuinely gripped by the narrative and intrigue to a certain point until the story gradually petered out.
So in terms of writing and pacing, I can confidently say that these were the novel's strongest characteristics. However, in terms of plot, characterisation, generally plausibility, historical accuracy and the romantic aspects, this text falls horribly short. Spectacularly short. These various failings contributed to the low score of 2.
The plot to say the least is melodramatic, anachronistic and often borders on the ridiculous. The Innocent focuses on the tumultuous life of the young Anne de Bohun as she moves from the secluded forest of her childhood to the troubled and back-stabbing royal court of King Edward IV and his Queen, Elizabeth Woodville. At times, I was required to suspend belief in various incidences. Naturally, in a time when even noble women were rarely educated, we are expected to accept that Anne has been so highly educated for one so low-born.
I don't need to go into detail about the seeing into the future stupidity. Its a lazy way of showing what historical events will happen. In the prologue, a two women, one of whom is nine months pregnant and in labour, mount a startled war house and ride off into the night. War horses, of this era, were as big as draft horses, nearly 16 hands high. They had to be! These were the mounts that carried Knights into battle.
They were often stallions and notoriously difficult to handle. The author expects us to believe that these two women successfully rode a war horse with no difficulty.
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Anne is revealed to be the bastard daughter of Henry VI and a noblewoman named Alyce de Bohun, born after her mother is attacked the servants of the childless Margaret of Anjou, Henry's fearsome wife. Anne is raised in secret and only learns of her heritage when it somehow places her in grave danger. I have several problems with this plot point. Henry VI was a timid, principled and kindly man with a strong religious bent; better suited as a monk than a king. He was a faithful husband to Margaret of Anjou and a loving father to their only child, Edward of Lancaster.
The mere idea of him cheating of his wife is hard to accept. He loathed lewd talk and once fled in shock upon seeing a trope of half naked female dancers brought to entertain him. This idea of his fathering a bastard is melodramatic in the extreme and played solely for shock value.
There is no way that Anne could have succeeded to the English throne or even posed a possible alternative as monarch. Accusations of bastardy were hurled both at Margaret of Anjou's son and Edward IV in order to claim that they had absolutely no legitimate right to the throne and to contest their status as rightful heir. So much of Anne's supposed importance is not possible in any aspect.
To tell otherwise is historically dishonest. The characterisation of this novel was fraught with little ambiguity and complexity. Anne and Edward IV are prime examples of this. Anne for all intents and purposes is a classic Mary-Sue; a feisty, sweet mannered and angelic red-headed young girl who is lusted after by all men and who gains the animosity of several female characters. A Mary-Sue is perfection incarnate.
She can do no wrong, can perform tasks expertly and with no difficulty or practise and gains universal admiration. Anne conforms so devoutly to the Mary-Sue characteristic that I'm rather dismayed that a published author wrote such a heroine. Edward IV is another issue. The promiscuous, power-saavy, highly intelligent and charismatic king is the novels strongest character but even he suffers from weak characterisation.
It was frankly aggravating to witness this play-boy of a king fall hopelessly and inexplicitly in love with Anne. I mean what did he see in Anne? They meet only a few times yet proclaimed true love and had such tearful farewells that I nearly rolled my eyes out of my head. The romance seemed so out of place and utterly unbelievable.
I couldn't buy it for a second. Other characters such as the horrible sexual sadist Piers and the poor wretched Aveline are fleshed out greatly and are far more believable sadly, despite their unpleasantness and eventual ends. The last point I'll discuss is the abundance of sex, weird BDSM practices and people watching other people doing 'it'. This, for me, was the oddest and most uncomfortable part of the book. The sex was mildly graphic and in the case of Piers and Aveline, is highly abusive and masochistic. It occurs in nearly every chapter with Piers raping Aveline regularly and sexual degrading Anne, Edward watching his friend Hastings doing it with a laundress and Anne and Edward consummating their relationship in Westminster Abbey of all places.
The over reliance on sex added to the novel's detriment. I don't object to it morally, I just found the emphasis on it a bit bothersome at times. Historically, the novel sticks to the known facts for the majority of the time. The politics is very lightly done and at times barely noticeable. The wars of the roses and the dynastic conflicts that twisted contemporary events and caused betrayals, escapes, brutal battle, land and sea invasions are glossed over to the reader's frustration.
This novel focuses on the romantic and sexual intrigue of Anne and rarely descends into political discussion. Historical romantics would probably be happier with the Innocent. I feel this would have turned into a stronger novel if the focus had been on politics instead of romance.
Well-written, with a Mary-Sue character, light historical detail, rather graphic sex scenes, a discernable lack of politics and an over reliance on ridiculous plot elements, the Innocent isn't for everyone. This is all my personal opinion. The Innocent has been in my TBR pile for quite some time. It is set during the period of the War of The Roses and I've read quite a few books with the same setting so, while I am often curious about that period, I also fear that my expectations will be too high and I tend to postpone picking them up unless they are recommended by friends.
The story starts in with a birth, the baby lives but the mother dies in labour. We find out that she was being protected by Royal Guards till they were ambushed in a forest. Fast forward fifteen years and Anne, a young girl, is brought by her foster mother to the city to work as a servant in merchant's house. Her knowledge of herbs saves the merchant's wife who was dying and eventually her healing gift brings her to the attention of the court's doctor and she plays a role in helping Edward IV's Queen giving birth to their first daughter.
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At court Anne attracts the King's eye and in time she discovers she is not just little Anne but actually a bastard daughter of the previous King, Henry VI, and a young gentlewoman. While she struggles not to give in to the attraction between her and the King she also has to deal with the fact that she is now an eventual threat to his throne and that she has gained a few enemies along the way. I have to say that I found this an entertaining and fast read, it's not heavy in historical detail and the story focuses much more in Anne's everyday life and feelings so I would think of this more as historical romance than historical fiction, especially the second half of the story.
However I did have some problems with Anne. She seemed too perfect.
A fifteen year old girl who can heal better than doctors, evade unwanted advances, became friends with those she serves and still maintain a wide eyed innocence seemed a bit unreal. Then, she finds her way to court still maintaining the same innocence, gaining other's admiration and managing to attract the King just with a glance and a touch or two. And the King, who is known for his numerous meaningless affairs, manages to fall in love with her deeply.