Alison Weir is a new entrant into the world of historical fiction, having spent her time until recently writing REAL history books (she is one of the foremost historians on England's Tudor period, King Henry VIII and his wives). The good news is that her history is always spot on. The bad news is that her writing isn't. Her first foray into historical fiction was "Innocent Traitor" about the little known ascendancy to the throne of Lady Jane Grey (Elizabeth's cousin). Since that book is about a topic with which not many are familiar, it made for compelling reading and one was able to forgive the sometimes ham-handed prose. In this her second book, Weir does not acquit herself as well. There are certainly compelling paragraphs and some of the story flows, but for the most part Weir has a difficult time mustering any real suspense with Elizabeth's plight, as we all know she ended up Queen.
She does bring to light some interesting "true" anecdotes with which most will not be familiar, and imagines a truly shocking event that most will not believe, but the book really needed a bit more editing.
I adore this book. I enjoyed the liberties she took with Elizabeth's life along the way. A wonderful novel that imagines her journey from childhood to the crown. I anxiously await Weir's next novel.
i thought it too romanticized, soap opera melodratic
After thoroughly enjoying Weir's first foray into fiction ('Innocent Traitor'), I was looking forward to her fictionalized story about Elizabeth I. I finished this in two days and am disappointed.
Weir took liberties with Elizabeth's story which didn't sit well with me. Although she explained why she did it in her afterword/author's note, I still am not comfortable with the events she portrayed. Yes, it IS fiction, but like Robin Maxwell's book 'The Queen's Bastard' which took the liberty that Elizabeth and Robert Dudley had a child together, I couldn't stomach the fiction Weir wrote about.
While I'll give Weir a chance if she should write another fictional work, I do think that her non-fiction is leaps and bounds better than this novel.
Ok book. Disappointed that book never reaches into timeframe of Elizabeth's reign. Remember that it IS fiction...so liberties are taken with historical accuracy.
Another good historical fiction by Alison Weir. At a few points in the book I thought it was very similar to other books on Elizabeth's childhood, but there are definitely several plots in this one that are not like any others. Very entertaining. I didn't want to put it down.