Monday, September 9, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: The Other Queen By Philippa Gregory

The Other Queen (The Tudor Court, #6)Two women competing for a man's heart. Two queens fighting to the death for dominance. The untold story of Mary, Queen of Scots. This dazzling novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory presents a new and unique view of one of history's most intriguing, romantic, and maddening heroines. Biographers often neglect the captive years of Mary, Queen of Scots, who trusted Queen Elizabeth's promise of sanctuary when she fled from rebels in Scotland and then found herself imprisoned as the "guest" of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his indomitable wife, Bess of Hardwick.

The newly married couple welcome the doomed queen into their home, certain that serving as her hosts and jailers will bring them an advantage in the cutthroat world of the Elizabethan court. To their horror, they find that the task will bankrupt them, and as their home becomes the epicenter of intrigue and rebellion against Elizabeth, their loyalty to each other and to their sovereign comes into question. If Mary succeeds in seducing the earl into her own web of treachery and 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.

I haven't read a historical fiction in a long time. In fact I think the last one I read was The Other Boleyn Girl.  And I do like them. I like getting a version of a  history lesson every once in a while. I just forget how dry they can be in some parts.  First things first though, I did enjoy The Other Queen. I wouldn't have picked it up on my own. Remember, this is one that  I 'borrowed' from work.

This novel is written in 3 point of views: Bess, George and Mary.

Bess: she is the wife of George,  this is basically her view on that:
“A woman has to change her nature if she is to be a wife. She has to learn to curb her tongue, to suppress her desires, to moderate her thoughts and to spend her days putting another first. She has to put him first even when she longs to serve herself or her children. She has to put him first even if she longs to judge for herself. She has to put him first even when she knows best. To be a good wife is to be a woman with a will of iron that you yourself have forged into a bridle to curb your own abilities. To be a good wife is to enslave yourself to a lesser person. To be a good wife is to amputate your own power as surely as the parents of beggars hack off their children's feet for the greater benefit of the family.”

I know it was a different time back then, but thank the whatever higher power there is that it is not that way now. At least in most societies. Ugh.   She is different than most wives however in that she actually owns property in her name, thanks to her late 3rd husband. She is super concerned about money. Like obsessed. Everything has to be accounted for.

George: Poor little Georgie. He is all about honor and loyalty. He will do whatever the Queen wants (the queen of England- Elizabeth) without question. However, Georgie falls under the spell of Mary.  He is actually a douche bag when you think about it. Loyal to the actual Queen, loyal in love to the other queen, and all the while right in front of Bess' nose!

Mary: The Queen of Scots who just wants to be Queen again. I felt bad for her. I mean, she's a Queen 3 times over and yet she is stuck with pretty much a no-name family for an undetermined amount of time only to be presented with empty promises that she is to return home and rule again. I don't know much about Mary's reign, but it came off that she would do anything to keep the sacredness of royalty in tact. She also would lie and deceit if it meant she would rule again.

Like I said, I did enjoy this book. I felt like it was too long at times and that it dragged on.  I mean, just let Mary go already.

I will read other Philipa Gregory novels, I just won't rush to put them on top of my To Read pile. It's big enough already.

3 stars!

No comments:

Post a Comment