Tag Archive | historical fiction

Book review: The Queen’s Rivals by Brandy Purdy


The Queen’s Rivals by Brandy Purdy


Ms. Purdy is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. While The Queen’s Rivals doesn’t have the sumptuous words of the previous book that I read (The Queen’s Pleasure), it is a deeply moving novel.

The Queen’s Rivals tells the story of the Grey sisters, cousin to Queen Elizabeth I, from the point of view of the littlest sister. Mary, the youngest, stopped growing at about the age of five or so. Disfigured, she is pragmatic about her prospects in life and how others treat her.

The thing about historical novels is, most of the time you know how they end. We know the story of the bloody road to the English throne. Purdy excels at bringing the names and dates from the history books to life, putting soul into them. We already know how things are going to end. She makes us care, all over again, in a story that keeps moving towards a tragic end for all of the sisters.

But Purdy also does something else: she sparks the imagination. One of Mary’s complaints about her treatment is who would really want her to be queen? Her mother is strict about what she wears lest anyone mistake her for a jester, a clown. She is deprived of dancing for the same reason. (And, actually, because her mother was a witch— but given the time period, on this I think I agree with the mother’s assessment.)

So yes, a story spark is burning right now. One that may or may not flame into a full fledged short story. And that is the greatest feeling of all!


Overall rating: 5/5


Ta for now, my lovelies. I’ll be back soon with one on the Rain Wilds books by Robin Hobb. I’m currently on book 3/4….Yay!

Forgotten Queen

The latest book about the Tudor’s to be devoured by me was The Forgotten Queen, by D.L. Bogdan (Kenisington Books). And the title is actually befitting, because she has for the most part been… well, forgotten. As was her older brother Arthur.

Not. A. Clue.

If I had ever known that Henry VIII had an older brother (let alone sisters!), it flew out of my head trying to remember all the wives he had!

Most of the annoying bits in this can be attributed to the main character’s age. She is incredibly young. While Princes are trained to run a kingdom, a princess is trained to be a wife. What then, when her foolish husband goes off and gets himself killed, leaving her regent of an infant king?

From this point on, Margaret’s decisions become… questionable. Yet she deals with them. Perhaps not in the way you and I would, but in the only way she seems to know how. The only way afforded to women in that era.

This one gets 3/5 stars. While it was a solid read, I’m not sure i have the stamina to read her story again. It’s a great ride, and as I don’t remember her except from what I read in this novel, the take on England and Scotland and their relations was fresh.

Ta my lovelies— I’m off to read some books I got from my Barnes and Nobles birthday trip. I’m not sure when I’ll be back on, but by Monday, definately!