THE KING'S DAUGHTER
Worth's authentically detailed portrait of Elizabeth of York -- the daughter, niece, wife and mother of kings -- whose marriage to Henry VII ended the War of the Roses, displays the author's passion for the period and her adoration of her characters. She turns what might be an ordinary fictionalized biography into a banquet of simply luscious and delicious history.
At age 17, Elizabeth is trapped in the battle for the throne when her uncle Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, becomes king. Richard abuses his power, declaring her a bastard and imprisoning her brothers, the "little princes," in the Tower.
Elizabeth questions what's happened, but it takes her dying aunt to put things into perspective, claiming Richard worthy of admiration and trust. She faces her destiny and marries Henry Tudor. Deemed the "Good Queen" by the people, she sees hope when her eldest son, Prince Arthur, marries Katherine of Aragon, and her daughter is wed to the Scots king. When Arthur dies, she ponders young Henry's fate. It's her spirit, intelligence and courage that hold England together. (Berkley, Dec., 416 pp., $15.00)