The author, Jean Plaidy, who is also known to her legion of fans as Victoria Holt, is a masterful writer of historical fiction. This book, the ninth volume in her "Queens of England" series, is an engrossing portrait of Lady Mary of York, daughter of King James II of England, who would be a future Queen of England. The story is expertly woven with sufficient historical detail so as to satisfy the most discerning readers.
Growing up the beloved daughter of the Duke of York, an ardent Catholic who would one day be crowned King James II of England, Mary was reared as a Protestant to conform to the will of the people. At fifteen years of age, she was forced into a political and loveless marriage with her Protestant first cousin, the dour and reserved Prince of Orange, William. She then left her beloved England to live in Holland with William.
Mary was to spend a number of lonely and desolate years in Holland with William, during which her uncle, King Charles II of England, died. Her father, the Duke of York, was then crowned James II. In turmoil over his avowed Catholicism, England was ripe for change. Mary's husband, William of Orange, being an ambitious man who coveted the English crown, lost no time in making sure that England stayed Protestant and took on his royal father-in-law. His victory over James II paved the way for the reign of William and Mary.
The author paints a portrait of a woman in conflict, torn between her love for her father and her loyalty to her husband. It details the political intrigues of the day that were to have such impact on Mary's life and shape her destiny. It is a wonderful and engrossing blend of fact and fiction. This richly textured novel is sure to delight those who enjoy historical fiction.