Elizabeth is Henry the VIII’s second daughter. Her mother was beheaded when she was an infant. She could be beheaded herself.
And if she’s not, she will be queen.
She can trust no one, love no one. Everyone will use her. She will use everyone.
Her status, religion, mother…even her words will be used against her.
She will never be just a girl. She will be queen.
Author: Jane Caro
Recommended Ages: 13 +
Genre: Historical Fiction
Wow. History. Not a thing for the faint hearted. If you suffer from innocence of mind, do not read this book. People say that the Aztecs were savages for human sacrifices and that islanders are barbarians for cannibalism. What makes us think that our history is any different? It’s not. There are very few characters in this book who were not imprisoned, tortured, or beheaded at some time or another. And if they weren’t, someone threatened them with it.
Read this book knowing that it’s not frippery tale with a happy ending. It’s cold solid history with living characters. With that in mind, being in first person, it is written like they used to speak, so you get the feeling it’s more like a classic. Despite that, it’s really good. It’s enjoyable, and while you don’t particularly like Elizabeth or any character, it’s still very interesting to read. You learn just how many people were beheaded back then. You find out why Lady Jane Grey was executed. (I’d always wondered about that) and why Henry the VIII killed and divorced all his wives. These people were fickle.
It’s not a quick read. It might take a few days for a quick reader, simply because it’s not eyes-glued-to-the-page exciting. It’s more fascinating. The whole way you want to know how she got to be queen. (I am not spoiling this by saying that. Two reasons: if you know your history, you’ll know she became queen after Mary Tudor, and that’s the way it starts off the book. The whole thing is made up of flashbacks.)
The characters aren’t endeared to the reader at all–a good character has faults, but redeeming qualities. These people have no redeeming qualities at all. They just aren’t nice. Because of that, the book will never be a favourite. I’m not even sure I’d read it again. But it is worth the read.
It’s amazing looking at the table of characters at the end. Executed for treason, executed for treason and adultery, executed for treason. It’s mind blowing. Simply mind blowing.
The human race truly is fallen. We only have to look at our history to see that.