Should the throne have passed to James Stuart?
First Published: 2013
Date Reviewed: 2nd September 2013
The Duke of Monmouth has had many mistresses and children, but when he sees Henrietta he falls in love for the first time. He is determined to have her, despite her status and later betrothal.
His Last Mistress is a brief look at the relationship between Charles II’s eldest illegitimate son and Henrietta Wentworth.
Zuvich’s research is excellent. There is no compulsion to fact-check, and speculation is accounted for in the acknowledgements. The sticking to history here is wonderful and the author even uses original sources in her work. Her wish to educate and create interest in the people she has written about is obvious and endearing.
But unfortunately the book reads as though the author was in a rush, few elements are explained or given reason, and the text really needs to be edited and proof-read. The writing style leaves a lot to be desired.
The reader never gets a feel for the characters – beyond the historical facts, there is nothing to the people who grace the pages. There are plot points such as a baby being given away to someone without the reader being told who the person is in relation to the parents and why they were chosen. This is made more apparent by episodes during which past chapters are needlessly referred to. It must be noted that the ending is particularly violent – this is not a negative point as the history is accurate, but it may prove difficult to read.
His Last Mistress has some solid research behind it, but it needed to undergo more drafts and checks before publication. Those interested in the period may find it useful.
I received this book for review from the author for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.
September 7, 2013, 10:27 am
What a shame this book sounded like it had an interesting premise.
September 7, 2013, 8:23 pm
I love when a book is obviously well researched :) There does also have to be a connection with the characters for me to enjoy a book though. It’s too bad this one ended up so dry!