Published by Kensington Books on Jul 1, 2011
Genres: Adult, Historical fiction
Format: Paperback from Purchased
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In the wake of King Henry VIII's death, England's throne is left in a precarious stateas is the peculiar relationship between his two daughters. Mary, the elder, once treasured, had been declared a bastard in favor of her flame-haired half-sister, Elizabeth, born of the doomed Anne Boleyn. Yet the bond between the sisters was palpable from the start. Now reinstated, Mary eventually assumes her place as queen. But as Mary's religious zeal evolves into a reign of terror, young Elizabeth gains the people's favor. Gripped by a tormenting paranoia, Mary is soon convinced that her beloved Elizabeth is in fact her worst enemy. And the virginal Elizabeth, whose true love is her country, must defy her tyrannical sister to make way for a new era. . .
A brilliant portrait of the rule of "Bloody Mary" and her intricate relationship with Elizabeth I, the adored "Virgin Queen," here is a riveting tale of one family's sordid and extraordinary chapter in the pages of history.
I normally find Tudor stories to be very complex with drama, backstabbing, and endless amounts of intrigue. This book was much more subdued than most Tudor stories I’ve read, but it was still an enjoyable glimpse into Mary and Elizabeth’s lives.
Both Mary and Elizabeth had alternating first person narratives over the same time period, which made it easy to contrast and compare the sisters. It was interesting to see how each of them perceived and reacted differently to the same events. It really highlighted how different from each other they were, and also lent a very believable air to the story.
The book focuses a lot of the religious and love lives of the women, with lesser focus on court life. I think I prefer books that focus more on court and love, with less religion. This time period tied religion and power together very tightly, so it’s hard to get away from, but this book in particular felt heavy due to that focus.
Overall, this was an interesting story featuring two well known Tudor queens. I wouldn’t suggest it to Tudor-newbies as it feels quite subdued and heavy, but it is a great addition to the genre.