Garcia y Robertson’s latest historical (after Knight Errant, 2001, etc.), this set in 1460s England during the War of the Roses.
If you can’t tell the Yorkists from the Lancastrians, don’t worry: Lady Robyn of Pontefract has trouble keeping them straight, too, and she’s engaged to marry Edward IV. She’s not particularly dim or ill-informed, mind you; it’s just that she was born in the US about five hundred years after Edward died. Robyn dabbled in witchcraft in a New Age-y kind of way, you see, and got more than she bargained for when she accidentally cast a spell that took her back to 1461, with civil war raging about her. She adjusted to life without cars pretty well for a Californian, but she finds life without coffee difficult and will never get used to the clothes. She still has her Palm Pilot, however, and finds it useful for keeping a diary of the events taking place around her—which are dramatic indeed. Robyn has managed to ingratiate herself with Edward, Prince of Wales, thus gaining access to the highest levels of English politics during a time of great turmoil. The weak-minded Henry VI is tottering on the brink of insanity (he made Robyn a knight and bequeathed her vast tracts of land for no apparent reason when he met her for the first time), and intrigues have already sprung up to wrest the throne from him. Edward’s father Richard, Duke of York, is the leading contender and has a sizable army behind him. Robyn, who stands to become the Queen of England someday if Edward’s father succeeds, is excited by the possibilities but still wary of the whole enterprise, having seen already how short life expectancy is for heirs apparent in medieval England. If only she could get back to the prosaic, safe 21st century. . . .
Good, clean entertainment, with plenty of period detail and a healthy dose of modern irony.