Friday, April 22, 2011

The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory

About the book: Two women competing for a man’s heart…
Two queens fighting to the death for dominance…
The untold story of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Fleeing rebels in Scotland on Queen Elizabeth’s false promise of sanctuary, Mary, Queen of Scots, finds herself imprisoned as the “guest” of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his indomitable wife, Bess of Hardwick. Soon the newly married couple’s home becomes the center of intrigue and rebellion against Elizabeth, and their loyalty to each other and to their sovereign comes into question. If Mary succeeds in seducing the earl into her own web of treason, or if the great spymaster William Cecil links them to the growing conspiracy to free Mary from her illegal imprisonment, they will all face the headsman. Using new research and her passion for historical accuracy, Gregory places the doomed queen into a completely new tale of suspense, passion, and political intrigue.

First Line: "Every woman should marry for her own advantage since her husband will represent her, as visible as her front door, for the rest of his life. "

My Thoughts: This, the third of this author's books I have read lately, covered the years Mary was held captive in England. Though it wasn't quite as fast moving as the others for me, I found it interesting since I'm not very well versed in this time period. It is told in turn by three of the characters: Mary herself, the man placed in charge of her, George Talbot, the Earl of Shrewsbury, and his wife Bess of Hardwick. By far the most interesting and sympathetic character was Bess. I could feel for her as she bore the financial burden of hosting a Queen, the worry of the danger to her household if any of Mary's plots could be traced there, and the drawing away of her husband as he fell in love with Mary. I enjoyed getting to know a little more about these people, maybe get a peek into the way they thought.

It is interesting but it drags. If you are knowledgeable about this time period it might not be for you. If you are a fan of Gregory's work you might like this one.

Rating: B-

Quote: "I can hardly believe that this nightmare goes on, goes on and on, and we never achieve victory and we never achieve peace."

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