Add your review
Avg. Rating: 4.17
The next installment of the Tudor saga
In her previous work, Gregory told the story of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry Tudor, as seen through the eyes of her lesser-known sister, Mary. In this follow-up work, Gregory uses a completely fictional character, Hannah Green, to follow the reign of Queen Mary, the once-beloved daughter of Henry who was declared illegitimate and exiled before finally coming into her inheritance. Hannah, a young girl of 14, is the queen's "fool" because she has the gift of second sight. She came into royal service through Robert Dudley, a handsome, charismatic lord who promised her safety (Hannah and her Jewish father had fled from Spain after her mother was burned at the stake during the Spanish Inquisition). Hannah loves the Queen, but she is running from both her persecuted past as well as her uncertain future: she is betrothed to a young Jewish man, Daniel Carpenter, who she is presumed to marry at age 16. Outside of her own personal circumstances, Hannah becomes wrapped up in the antics of Princess Elizabeth, the radiant half-sister of Mary who also makes Hannah her confidante. Hannah's simple life as the queen's fool becomes dangerously complex, and her own future becomes intertwined with that of England.
Gregory has a clear talent for historical fiction, as she skillfully weaves interactions between actual and fictional characters. The reader is treated to many character transformations: Hannah, from a young girl in boy's clothing to a young woman; Mary, from a gentle princess to an unforgiving and broken Queen; Elizabeth, from a scared young woman to a future heir to the throne; and Dudley, from a young courier to one of the most powerful men in England. Although Hannah's story is not quite as dramatic as Mary Boleyn's and the ending of this book is not quite so climactic as in The Other Boleyn Girl, Gregory has written another well-researched and enjoyable novel about the Tudor era.
THERE IS NO FOOL LIKE THE QUEEN'S FOOL...
This best selling English author of historical fiction has written yet another interesting work. This novel takes place during the reign of Mary Tudor, daughter of King Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon. She would leave a legacy that would cause her to be known as "Bloody Mary" for her burning of heretics.
The narrator is a girl named Hannah Green, a young teenager who has fled Spain and its Inquisition with her father, following the death of her mother. She had been burned alive at the stake as a heretic, when it was discovered that she was a "Marrano", a false Christian, that is, a Jew who has converted to Christianity but who follows the Jewish faith in secret.
Landing in London, where her father opens a book store, Hannah makes the acquaintance of a handsome rake, Sir Robert Dudley, who discovers that Hannah has the gift of sight. She develops a personal relationship with him that eventually sees her enter into Queen Mary's service as her fool. Hannah serves Queen Mary, but at the same time, is sent by the Queen to serve her half-sister the Princess Elizabeth and spy upon her.
Meanwhile, Sir Robert Dudley also uses Hannah in his treasonous plot to see the Princess Elizabeth on the throne of England. So, Hannah finds herself walking a dangerous tightrope and is fearful of discovery of her role in the political intrigues that are welling around her, as well as discovery of her own background, which would be grounds for death. Her worst fears are nearly realized when the Queen marries Prince Phillip of Spain.
In the midst of all this political intriguing that appears to be going on all around her, Hannah has her own immediate future to think about, as she becomes betrothed to another Marrano such as herself. Infatuated with Lord Dudley, loyal to both Queen Mary and the clever and manipulative Princess Elizabeth, Hannah finds herself putting her own future happiness at risk amidst the political and religious turmoil of the time.
This is a fast paced, breezy read about an independent, young woman who finds herself at a crossroad in her life and begins a voyage of self-discovery that will ultimately change her life. The story takes place in sixteenth century England, amidst all the political strife and religious upheaval of the time. The author weaves an intriguing tapestry of historical events and personages together with the intrigues that were rife in the Tudor court of the Queen who would become known as Bloody Mary.
The historical information presented by the book, even the last detail, is extremely accurate. It serves as a history lesson woven into a fascinating storyline. Although the book lacks a structured plot or even a clear struggle for the protagonist, Hannah Green, it follows her adventures and is definitely interesting.
Review this book