Alison Weir is at her best when she sticks with her narrative of history and interactions between historical figures; however, her writing and her story plummets when she becomes overly engaged with the sensual; it becomes ridiculous. Female characters, who are otherwise intelligent and discerning, suddenly become puddles of idiots in the presence of good looking men and seem to have no control over their intellect or reason when they feel an "arousal" (which consistently starts in the "pit of their stomachs" and then travels to places that you can imagine). Why an author who has such good control and knowledge of history has to resort to formulaic writing normally set aside for trashy novels is puzzling.
Not her fiction.
I was really enjoying the historical aspect of the book till I came to the chapter on Lady Elizabeth's "awakening" of the sensual - and now I feel like I am stuck in a circle of Dante's Inferno. The stupid chapter will not end!
I loved listening to this. I love this time period. I first listened to an innocent traitor and was excited to find out she wrote another novel.
Transplanted New Yorker living on Cape Cod
It is convenient these days to rewrite history in the name of artistic license. Was Elizabeth pregnant? I didn't actually enjoy being left to wonder. I appreciate the author wanting to write more books, sell more books and so on but I'm sure their are other stories out there to write.
I am sure Weir is a good historian, but as a writer she could improve her craft. The story is not well written. Perhaps this is to stay as close to the history as possible but her characters are one and two dimensional, not well motivated and come across as flat. The POV in the book shifts erratically and word choices are repetitive. This book would have benefitted from further editing.
Michelle A. Hamlett M.Ed.
This was by far the most informative historical fiction novel about Elizabeth Tudor! Alison Weir once again brings characters that lived over 500 years ago to life as no one else can! It is a MUST read for any historian!
I just finished The Queens Fool by Philippa Gregory right before this book, and the different portrayals of Elizabeth threw me off. I went into this book having a certain image in my head, so I found it difficult to like her in this one. I shouldn't have listen to the two different stories back to back. Had I not, I would have enjoyed this one more. If you like the historical fiction genre, you'll like this book. I have nothing bad to say.
I loved every single moment of this story and in fact tried to slow my reading down so I could savor it a bit more. I actually hit this book by accident thinking it was a different author and learned a few chapters in that it was Alison Weir. Couldn't have been happier. I loved the fact that she stayed pretty spot on to actual facts, while giving us a plausible scenario of how things may have played out. My only fear is that I loved this so much, I hope her other books can live up to my, now high, expectations.
The life of Elizabeth I presented in such a way that the reader felt that they, too, were living at court, perhaps serving the future queen. Elizabeth, Kat, Mary, Henry became living remarkable people. This reader thoroughly enjoyed the story and the narration that brought the words to life. Thank you all who were involved.
Once again, Weir has captured our attention with exceptional historical facts woven with fiction! As in The Lady in the Tower & A Dangerous Inheritance, The Marriage Game, etc., this is a gripping novel, taking us back in time with facts and her uncanny ability to make the reader get lost in the lives of these people, as though we are a fly on the wall! I've listened to this book 3 times! (I tend to do that with great books).
Read in February, 2012
Interesting glimpse at the pre-queen life of Elizabeth I. However, it is obvious Weir is a historian/nonfiction writer, not a novelist. The book suffers from too many info-dumps and too much head-hopping/too little focus on the character through whose eyes everything should have been witnessed: ELIZABETH.