This book is the last one of the trilogy "The Rose of York" on the life of Richard Duke of Gloucester later King Richard III and his wife Anne Neville.
After Richard's coronation, treason and personal losses shape Richard's last 2 years on earth. The tragedies of his only son and heir's death, shortly followed by his heartbroken wife's death ultimately have Richard view his challenge with the hated Henry Tudor as the ultimate battle, whose fate he will accept whatever the outcome. A man and a king who has lost everything he cared for thus gambles his life and realm in one single clash that will be decided by treason resulting in his final demise.
After a weaker preface, in this book the author's writing eventually blossoms in a consistant, generally plausible and deeply moving rendering of King Richard's tragic last days, eventually little driving from external sources other than some previous novels (which she might have derived something from, but this time she develops the suggestions in a fully original way) and the historical biographies and documents updated to the day of publishing (in her notes the author still quotes the myth of Richard's remains being dug up and thrown into a river during Henry VIII's times, when the 2012 archeological dig in Leicester eventually proved it yet another distortion of truth).
I am still convinced that any sentiment beyond respect and courtly submission between Richard and Elisabeth of York is yet to be proved beyond the slandering tudorian rumours that were related by later historians. However, the focus of this book is concentrated on Anne's agony and Richard's grief over her and their son's deaths in such detailed and heartbreaking descriptions that I found myself reading with moist eyes.
A must read, but keep your kleenex to hand