This is Ms. Gregory’s second book in her Tudor series and ever bit as fascinating as her first book, The Other Boleyn Girl. She has an incredible gift of taking true events and weaving a story around them without compromising history. I’ve read some reviews that criticize her interpretation of history, but let’s face it. History is subjective and only as accurate as the eye witness’s point of view. I’m no historian, but I know enough to understand these books were carefully researched and as factual as possible.
What makes this story interesting, however, is the way it’s told. Hannah Green, previously Hannah Verde – a Spanish Jew, is 14 when she is begged to King Edward as a Holy Fool because she has the Sight. The tale is given in first person by Hannah and spans the period of time from just before King Edward’s death to Queen Mary’s death and all the court intrigue and plotting and treason and heretical activities and sibling rivalry in between. It is a tumultuous time for Hannah, whose mother was burned at the stake in Spain as a heretic during the Inquisition. She becomes one of Queen Mary’s most beloved servants and she loves the Queen in return, though if her past is discovered she could become another one of Bloody Mary’s victims. She is a confidant of the Queen, Princess Elizabeth, Robert Dudley and John Dee and is acquainted with several other historical figures.
If you’re looking to read a romance novel, this isn’t for you. While there is a little romance in it, this is definitely historical fiction. The book ends with Princess Elizabeth preparing to take the throne (I haven’t given anything away as you should already know this bit of history – LOL) and the next book, The Virgin’s Lover, deals with the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
So what do I read next? Grave Peril by Jim Butcher? A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (thanks Dance Chica!)? Or do I continue with this series and read The Virgin’s Lover? Decisions, decisions. I think I’ll just watch the Superbowl (currently 7 – 6 Bears) and the commercials (which is really why I watch it anyway) and figure it out tomorrow.
So far Bud Light has the best commercials, though the Snicker’s commercial with the auto mechanics was pretty funny.
I THOROUGHLY enjoyed Prince!
I decided not to read The Virgin’s Lover yet because I’ve still got Hannah Green on my mind and I know I’ll be disappointed when she’s not mentioned. So I’m going to read a couple other books before I pick it up. Sort of like cleansing the palate. I had already brought Grave Peril down so I’ve started reading it.