I agree with most of the other reviewers (interestingly we primarily seem to be women) in that the portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in this work seems to be contrary to everything I've ever learned. I've never seen her portrayed as so fickle and spineless, being swayed by whomever spoke to her last. That is misleading.
The story is good in that it holds your attention, but the spin on Elizabeth is fallacious. Such a queen would have been long forgotten.
I gave it two stars instead of three because there is so little actual history represented. It's a personal preference, but I really like history in my historical fiction. KWIM?
Just finished this series (do 2 books qualify as a series?), and I'm disappointed - not in the books but in being finished with them.
I'm a Rutherfurd fan; I must be b/c finishing these brings me up-to-date in having read everything he's written. Makes me a fan, right? I've heard it said of Rutherfurd that his characters are shallow - just as you get interested, he moves on. In his defense, to that I say, give the guy a break. After all, he's covering pre-history to modern day (in most cases, in one book). How much time could he really spend on in-depth individual character development?
The book is worth a 4, but I gave this a 5 b/c, in addition to an author I enjoy, I discovered a splendid narrator in Simon Vance. Love his voice - somewhere between totally relaxing and keeping me focused so as not to miss a word.
It's a great read; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
In school, we would have considered this a "tough read" because it's so historical. With that understanding, I would recommend this book for its detail and fact.
After listening to the preview and reading the other reviews, I was sooooo looking forward to this book! I was disappointed.
The history of Ireland is woven in as a minority to the main story of an odd young person whose own story is uninteresting and dominates the book. I did enjoy the story-telling aspect; the fireside, the pipe and all that, make for a cozy setting. Yet, if you are English or Christian, be prepared to be offended because this author does not like you and makes his opinions prevalent.
I love Henty. My 13-year-old XBox-360-fanatic loves Henty, and that's saying something! HOWEVER, that said, I must agree that the narrator could have been better chosen.
I would recommend this book as a good starting point to learn about these two women; it was well-researched. At least, I'm assuming the author was historically accurate although she differed from others I've read recently in a few minor points (timing, more than anything). I enjoyed her spin on Mary's upbringing and attitude playing so directly into her downfall.
The narrator is very good; in fact, her expertise is what got me over the humps. Those humps were the repetitiveness of the author. Okay, so Mary was tall, gorgeous and capitivating to the opposite sex - I got it the first 10 times; I didn't need to hear it another 10.
Overlooking that one flaw, again, I would recommend this book.
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