I love this book and the story, but I realllly disliked the narration and the readers voices for all characters. It really took away from the overall story.
I had read The Virgin's Lover a while back and really enjoyed it very much. Listening to it was a totally different experience. The boook came alive!
I generally enjoy Gregory's books, but this one is really not great. It's pretty boring and has little development from chapter to chapter. I was excited to see where Elizabeth's rule picked up after The Queen's Fool, but my expectations were not met. Gregory has a clear bias against Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I, which I can handle, but Elizabeth I fans will dislike this portrayal of the queen from start to finish.
Gregory shows off her ability to say a thing in multiple, unique ways, but there really is no need to hit the reader over the head with Robert Dudley's repeated expressions of ambition and love, no matter how many different and creative ways he says it. Also, Amy Dudley's character was...difficult to endure. Gregory's portrayal shows her becoming ridiculously delusional as the book progresses, but maybe she's suggesting that Amy had some sort of mental illness?
Finally, I thought the performance was pretty weak, mostly because the editing was poor. Sometimes you can hear where the audio clips are cut together, and they leave a pause too long between words or sentences. The pause lengths indicate that it's the close of a section or chapter, and it's confusing with the speaker picks up with a continuation of the current thought. And the narrator's voice for Amy Dudley drove me crazy in its babyish quality, but that could be just me.
This is my least favorite Gregory story and performance thus far.
I have enjoyed many of this author's books because of the interesting historical settings and strong female protagonists. This one has no such lead character, the story is boring and the writing is about a fifth grade level. I do not read pure romance novels but this one surely would fit that category. I have listened to a quarter of it and wont be listening anymore. Very disappointing.
The sample on Audible did not include the voice of the narrator of the book - only a brief summary of the book read by a man
Sometimes you can judge a book by it's cover...
definitely not a favorite, in the Philippa Gregory books /series. Really disappointing.