In the wake of King Henry VIII's death, England's throne is left in a precarious state—as is the peculiar relationship between his two daughters. Mary, the elder, once treasured, had been declared a bastard in favor of her flame-haired half-sister, Elizabeth, born of the doomed Anne Boleyn. Yet the bond between the sisters was palpable from the start. Now reinstated, Mary eventually assumes her place as queen. But as Mary's religious zeal evolves into a reign of terror, young Elizabeth gains the people's favor. Gripped by a tormenting paranoia, Mary is soon convinced that her beloved Elizabeth is in fact her worst enemy. And the virginal Elizabeth, whose true love is her country, must defy her tyrannical sister to make way for a new era. . .The Tudor Throne is written in the first person narrative, giving both Mary and Elizabeth's points of view. I'm generally not a big fan of changing points of view back and forth in a novel, but I think the author, Brandy Purdy, did a nice job of it.
A brilliant portrait of the rule of "Bloody Mary" and her intricate relationship with Elizabeth I, the adored "Virgin Queen," here is a riveting tale of one family's sordid and extraordinary chapter in the pages of history.
For me, the story got off to a slow start. I think beginning with Mary and her austere, disapproving undertones made it feel draggy, even though it was just a few pages. Also, the history as presented by Ms. Purdy was not all factual. Even though this is a work of fiction, it's historical fiction, so I prefer such books to be as factually correct as possible.
Given that, the book gave an excellent depiction of the religious and thus political struggles between Mary, Elizabeth, and their brother Edward. The danger of the times in having differing religious views as the crown is clearly shown; as is the juxtaposition of the crown having differing religious views as the majority of the people. It's interesting reading about a time where religion and politics were so closely tied together.
This is a good book for historical fiction fans who want to read for just sheer enjoyment. Do beware that there are some graphic sexual scenes, so this wouldn't be appropriate for everyone. Also, FYI, this book is published in the UK as Mary & Elizabeth by Emily Purdy.
*Disclaimer: I received this book from the author for review. I was not required to write a positive review.
I give this book 4 Bookworms.
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Kensington; Original edition (July 1, 2011)
Ebook: 678 KB