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08 April 2010

Book Review: Within the Hollow Crown by Maragret Campbell Barnes

Title: Within the Hollow Crown: A Valiant King's Struggle to Save His Country, His Dynasty, and His Love
Author: Margaret Campbell Barnes
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: April 1, 2010
Paperback: 368 pages
ISBN: 978-1402239212
Genre: Historical Fiction

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From the Publisher

Unlike his father, the Black Prince, or his namesake, King Richard the Lionheart, Richard II never really wanted to be king. But the mantle of royalty is thrust upon his shoulders at age 11, at a time when England is racked by unrest and class warefare. A leader as unexpected as he is inexperienced, young Richard must find a way to triumph over a fierce conflict more destructive than any foreign enemy.
Richard’s love for his wife, Anne of Bohemia, gave him the strength to outwit the schemes of his enemies and govern as he saw fit, providing England with years of properity under his reign. But when tragedy strikes, Richard begins to loose the common touch by which he had ruled so brilliantly, and begins a downward spiral from which his detractors would derive strength..

My Review:

When writing reviews such as this one, there is for me a fine line between giving just enough information and telling too much. Hopefully the information I have selected to share will be enough to make readers want to pick up this book. Within the Hollow Crown by Margaret Campbell Barnes is beautifully written and at times tragic tale of Richard II. His father Prince Edward, more commonly referred to as the Black Prince passed away when Richard was only 10 and by the time he was 11 his grandfather King Edward the Third passed away, leaving young Richard Plantagenet as the successor to the throne. Young Richard, like most young lads did not want to be told how to think and behave by his uncles John the Duke of Lancaster, Edmund the Duke of York, and Thomas the Duke of Gloucester. The Dukes did not like young Richard to be around his loving, persuasive mother, Joan of Kent, believing she is too soft on him and in turn was making young Richard into an effeminate man. Richard as a young adolescent began showing signs of compassion, which would eventually lead to him to successfully quelling the Peasant Uprising. Within the Hollow Crown is an extraordinarily written novel of the life of Richard II, about an inquisitive boy who did not want to become King. Richard II's life was riddled with personal conflicts and tragedies. Richard marries at young age to Anne of Bohemia and during their twelve-year marriage, Richard and Anne have numerous ambitions just as many people in power opposed to their ideas work fervently to make certain these ambitions do not become fruitful. It is said that Richard II had within him the power to be a brilliant King, so when and where do things begin to go awry? Within the Hollow Crown is brilliantly crafted and the reader gets a look at another side of Richard II that readers who enjoy historical fiction will appreciate. Barnes masterfully takes command and tells an exquisitely written tale of the last reigning Plantagenet King.

I received a complimentary copy of Within the Hollow Crown by Maragret Campbell Barnes from Sourcebooks. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



Ryan G said...

You did a brilliant job with the review. It gave me just enough to want to give this one a try. Thanks!

Christina T said...

Fantastic review! I don't know much about this time period in English history but this book sounds really interesting. I've read one book by the author which I really liked (My Lady of Cleves) so I might enjoy this too.