|Read Epub ⚡ A Secret Alchemy Í eBook or Kindle ePUB free

|Read Epub æ A Secret Alchemy ë Two murdered princes a powerful queen betrayed a nobleman riding towards his certain deathThe story of the Princes in the Tower has been one of the most fascinating and most brutal murder mysteries in history for than five hundred yearsIn a brilliant feat of historical daring, Emma Darwin has recreated the terrible, exhilarating world of the two youngest victims of the War of the Roses the power struggles and passion that lay behind their birth, the danger into which they fell, the profoundly moving days before their imprisonment, and the ultimate betrayal of their innocenceIn A Secret Alchemy, three voices speak that of Elizabeth Woodville, the beautiful widow of King Edward IV of her brother Anthony, surrogate father to the doomed Prince Edward and his brother Dickon and that of present day historian Una Pryor Orphaned, and herself brought up in a family where secrets and rivalries threaten her world, Una s experience of tragedy, betrayal and lost love help her unlock the long buried secrets that led to the princes deathsWeaving their stories together, Emma Darwin brilliantly evokes how the violence and glamour of past ages live on within our present 3.5 starsI really liked the portrayal of both Elizabeth and Antony They re both usually the villains and power greedy people and it was refreshing to see them in another light Antony s story begins when he is taken to Pontefract Castle and knows he is being executed there Elizabeth is in Bermondsey Abbey where she lived during Henry VII s reign We don t hear the whole life story of either but few selected episodes I have to confess I m not usually huge fan of Antony but couldn t resist fall 3.5 starsI really liked the portrayal of both Elizabeth and Antony They re both usually the villains and power greedy people and it was refreshing to see them in another light Antony s story begins when he is taken to Pontefract Castle and knows he is being executed there Elizabeth is in Bermondsey Abbey where she lived during Henry VII s reign We don t hear the whole life story of either but few selected episodes I have to confess I m not usually huge fan of Antony but couldn t resist falling for him just a bit I didn t care for the present day story that much and could have lived without it Also I had problem with too many narrative switches One minute it s Una telling her story, then the next Antony is about to die and then it switches to a scene where he s on a horse riding somewhere So confusing Gah I had to give up on this tosh before it antagonised me into committing an act of unspeakable petulance.Really, really trying too hard The main problem is that it flits from character to character before you ve got your head around any of them It then does what my mother does in real life launches into some topic she thinks you know everything about when you haven t the FAINTEST idea what she s talking about and have no idea who Mrs McFlinty at no 78 is and REALLY don t remember the 1976 Gah I had to give up on this tosh before it antagonised me into committing an act of unspeakable petulance.Really, really trying too hard The main problem is that it flits from character to character before you ve got your head around any of them It then does what my mother does in real life launches into some topic she thinks you know everything about when you haven t the FAINTEST idea what she s talking about and have no idea who Mrs McFlinty at no 78 is and REALLY don t remember the 1976 incident of the cat, the fridge and a sardine sandwich In short I know a reasonable amount about this period of history More than is healthy, probably, and I found it extremely difficult to keep adjusting to the change in narrator and historical circumstance from chapter to chapter Anyone with zero knowledge of the Wars of the Roses, the 15th Century, Elizabeth Woodville and the Grey Rivers would quite possibly be baffled quite a lot of the time.And no one wants that from a book A Secret Alchemy is narrated by two historical characters, Elizabeth Woodville and her brother Anthony, and by one fictitious one, Una Pryor, a historian who s returned to England from her home in Australia to sell her English property During her stay in England, the recently widowed Una, who s working on a book about Anthony Woodville and his reading, visits the cousins with whom she was raised and encounters the man whom she loved as an adolescent.Anthony s story begins with the last journey A Secret Alchemy is narrated by two historical characters, Elizabeth Woodville and her brother Anthony, and by one fictitious one, Una Pryor, a historian who s returned to England from her home in Australia to sell her English property During her stay in England, the recently widowed Una, who s working on a book about Anthony Woodville and his reading, visits the cousins with whom she was raised and encounters the man whom she loved as an adolescent.Anthony s story begins with the last journey of his life he is bound for Pontefract Castle, where he knows that the future Richard III has scheduled his execution Elizabeth tells her story from the quiet confines of Bermondsey Abbey, to which she has retired from the court of Henry VII Neither tells his or her life story from beginning to end instead, they each focus on a few selected episodes, such as Elizabeth s courtship by Edward IV and Anthony s exile abroad As a result, the cast of characters is relatively small we meet Edward IV, Edward V, a few Woodvilles, Anthony s lover, and Elizabeth s long time attendant and confidante There s a cameo appearance by Thomas Malory and a couple of very brief ones by the future Richard III.I thoroughly enjoyed reading Anthony s and Elizabeth s stories, and had tears in my eyes after reading both which doesn t happen very often, especially when I know the ending Anthony s tale, especially the love story Darwin gives him which I found very plausible and his terrible grief when he realizes that his charge Edward V is at the mercy of Richard III, is very moving Elizabeth, who s so often reduced to a caricature by historical novelists, is beautifully drawn here She s strong minded and courageous, yet vulnerable There s even a touch of humor here and there, as when Elizabeth s earthy sister Margaret comments on the queen s morning sickness.The contemporary story, Una s, was well done also I didn t find it as compelling as the medieval ones, but Darwin did a nice job of working the historical strands and the contemporary strand into an integrated whole.Darwin has researched her novel with care, and she provides an afterword putting the tales of Anthony and Elizabeth in their historical context.I heartily recommend this novel Una Pryor returns to England to settle her affairs, as well as the fate of her family s old home and printing business The Chantry, the cousins are torn whether to sell or to preserve it and it s long history Interspersed with Una s story is that of Anthony and Elizabeth Woodville as they reflect back on their lives and the events that lead to what is now known as the Wars of The Roses and the disappearance of Elizabeth s two sons the Princes in the Tower Darwin does a nice job of crafting t Una Pryor returns to England to settle her affairs, as well as the fate of her family s old home and printing business The Chantry, the cousins are torn whether to sell or to preserve it and it s long history Interspersed with Una s story is that of Anthony and Elizabeth Woodville as they reflect back on their lives and the events that lead to what is now known as the Wars of The Roses and the disappearance of Elizabeth s two sons the Princes in the Tower Darwin does a nice job of crafting the voices of both Elizabeth and Anthony as well as weaving Una s struggles with her grief over the death of her husband and a surprise meeting with a man from her past It was quite refreshing to see the Woodvilles especially Elizabeth portrayed in arealistic manner and not the black hearted villains you typically find them in novels on this period from today s latest and cough greatest authors I have to say that Susan and S McGee s reviews onhave done such a darn good job of putting this book into words that I really don t have muchto add While I didn t find it the fastest paced book, I did enjoy it a great deal nonetheless Four stars