I received this book for free from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Queen Elizabeth's Daughter
Author Anne Clinard Barnhill
Publisher St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date March 18, 2014
From the author of At the Mercy of the Queen comes the gripping tale of Mary Shelton, Elizabeth I’s young cousin and ward, set against the glittering backdrop of the Elizabethan court.
Mistress Mary Shelton is Queen Elizabeth’s favorite ward, enjoying every privilege the position affords. The queen loves Mary like a daughter, and, like any good mother, she wants her to make a powerful match. The most likely prospect: Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. But while Oxford seems to be everything the queen admires: clever, polished and wealthy, Mary knows him to be lecherous, cruel, and full of treachery. No matter how hard the queen tries to push her into his arms, Mary refuses.
Instead, Mary falls in love with a man who is completely unsuitable. Sir John Skydemore is a minor knight with little money, a widower with five children. Worst of all, he’s a Catholic at a time when Catholic plots against Elizabeth are rampant. The queen forbids Mary to wed the man she loves. When the young woman, who is the queen’s own flesh and blood, defies her, the couple finds their very lives in danger as Elizabeth’s wrath knows no bounds.
While I was reading Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter I felt like a foreign Bachelorette was being played in front of me, only with the Queen handing out the roses. It was clear that the bulk of this story would be about Mary’s love life and after being denied young love Queen Elizabeth feels it is her duty to find a match of power and wealth for her ward.
A ball is held at the beginning of the novel with all perspective suitors being introduced into the story and like the Bachelor each is slimier than the last. I could only wait until Mary shooed them away, rolling my eyes at their pettiness and pictured “hot tub scenes” from a certain show on ABC.
Mary did not belong in one of those hot tub scenes she was sweet and as innocent as one could be under the roof above her head. I was instantly charmed by her and could see how she had so many suitors waiting in the wings to claim her hand.
Elizabeth exhibited terrible two syndromes, (I want what I want and get what I want) granted she is the Queen but has anyone ever heard of the magic words? Perhaps my teaching in manners has gotten the better of me but her snide attitude and gleaming greed in her eye hit a nerve with my blood pressure rising each time she entered the page.
I thought having Mary’s love being Catholic in a Protestant world was very interesting and kept up a certain sense of intrigue which no date in the Bachelor could inspire. I immediately took a liking to Sir John Skydemore, he seemed down to earth and cared for all no matter what their station in life. Theirs was a love that one could route for groaning with each misstep and aww at the blooming romance.
Queen Elizabeth’s Daughter was well-paced and held my attention for much too long a time, taking everything in my power to slow down, but while reading a good book that is never the case and was over much too soon.
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