Saturday, January 24, 2015
Review: The Other Queen
By Philippa Gregory
Genre Historical Fiction
First sentence Every woman should marry for her own advantage since her husband will represent her, visible as her front door, for the rest of his life.
Queen Mary of Scots, not to be confused with Mary Catherine and Henry VIII's daughter, has been fighting for her throne nearly her whole life. Accused of planning the death of her husband and marrying his murderer she is now at the whim of her cousin Queen Elizabeth. Held captive by an Earl and his wife she must plan and hope for escape while trying to win over her captives.
What it has going for it?
Oh boy. How do I even begin to write my feelings for this one? I like Gregory's books. I like how she brings England's History to life in a readable and captivating way. Her books often have a steamy romance to cling to amidst the history and, call me sucker for romance, but I like it. This book however has no romance and is as much about Bess of Hardwick, Mary's captor, and her husband George, than it is about Mary. But I digress. The good thing about this one is Gregory's capacity to take a neutral look at both women and let you form your own opinion about them. While very different from Gregory's other books it still kept me reading, even if it did go a little slower than I like.
Forgive me but I thought this book was supposed to be about Queen Mary and so I expected to be sympathetic to her. What actually happened was there were two other characters vying for sympathy and Queen Mary, who I wanted to like, was freakishly annoying. Now don't get me wrong, I thought she was treated completely unfairly by Queen Elizabeth but the way Gregory wrote her...I really didn't care that she got what she did. And then, because of the three different characters, there's no one to really root for, no hero or heroine. I can see why Gregory wrote it the way she did but I would have preferred one character to sympathize with rather than three I couldn't stand.
I'm not sure I had one.
Yea or Nay?
Meh, it was OK but I just didn't like any of the characters enough. You have to at least like one, right?