In the autumn of 1558, church bells across England ring out the joyous news that Elizabeth I is the new queen. One woman hears the tidings with utter dread. Amy Dudley, wife of Sir Robert, knows that the peal of bells she hears will summon her husband once more to power, intrigue, and a passionate love affair with the young queen.
Elizabeth's excited triumph is short-lived. She has inherited a bankrupt country where treason is normal and foreign war a certainty. Her faithful advisor, William Cecil, warns her that she will survive only if she marries a strong prince to govern the rebellious country, but the one man Elizabeth desires is her childhood friend, the irresistible, ambitious Robert Dudley.
Only Robert truly revels in the opportunities of the new reign. He knows he can reclaim his destiny at Elizabeth's side. Elizabeth cannot resist his courtship, and as the young couple slowly falls in love, Robert starts to think the impossible: can he set aside his wife and marry the young queen?
Philippa Gregory paints a picture of a country on the brink of greatness, a young woman grasping at her power, a young man whose ambition is greater than his means, and the wife who cannot forgive them.
©2004 Philippa Gregory (P)2011 Simon & Schuster Audio
"Jolly good fun." (Entertainment Weekly)
"[E]xpertly crafted.... readers addicted to Gregory's intelligent, well-researched tales... will be enthralled." (Publishers Weekly)
"No lover of Elizabethan history should be without this novel, nor will any fan be disappointed with the meticulous research and marvelous portraits of Elizabeth, Dudley, and the court." (Romantic Times)
Amy Dudley, poor thing. No match for the cards she was dealt.
Ms. Porter often makes the character's sound like witches, very distracting and unsat.
Please bring back Bianca Amato to finish the work she began on this series. Her voice is well moderated, mature and does not interfere with the story. Amato has developed Phillippa Gregory's characters with subtlety and precision and allows the book to speak for itself, rather than imposing a bombastic pretentiousness on the work. It was jarring to hear the over-done, sloppy cadence of Davina Porter being applied to this narrative. Porter's interpretation of the characters, as she has done on the Outlander series, swings between overwrought and flippant, creating a two-dimensional listen out of a complex read.
Kept with the original reader: Bianca Amato.
I'd heard so much about Philippa Gregory's books and was looking forward to reading one of her historical novels. I understood that license had been taken with the historical facts, and I was prepared for that. What I wasn't prepared for was a poorly edited novel with a plodding plot and text and dialogue of the same quality that's in the average Harlequin romance novel. I got about a third of the way through this on Gregory's reputation and just gave up. I really like Davina Porter as a narrator and it's unfortunate that she does books like this (ie, Outlander series).
I really don't know the story. I could not get past the whiny old woman narration. I will never buy an audible with this narrator again!!!!
Bianca Amato (The Queen's Fool) could have narrated.
I am learning to be more careful with audiobooks. A narrator can make or break a book.
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