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Smith's newest historical fiction (after Daughter of York) is a complex exploration of a turbulent period of English history, taking on one of its biggest mysteries: the fate of princes Edward and Richard, locked up in the Tower by Richard III. Protagonist Grace Plantagenet is the illegitimate daughter of Edward IV and had been confidant to his family-including her imprisoned half-brothers Edward and Richard. After Richard III is killed and the princes disappear, a man named Perkin Warbeck appears to challenge Henry VII, claiming to be the presumed dead Prince Richard. Determined to discover the truth of Warbeck's claim, Grace throws herself into the politics of the court, knowing that if Warbeck is Prince Richard, it could be drastic for Grace's family-especially for her half-sister Elizabeth of York, now Henry's queen. Examined through the eyes of a minor historical figure, Smith introduces readers to 15th-century political intrigue with thought, courage and honesty. Though her major historical figures (especially Henry VII) get the broad-brush treatment, Smith is careful to make Grace and her world detailed and engaging. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.