Saturday, April 16, 2011

Crazy Book Tours Book Review: The King's Daughter

King's Daughter, The
Author: Christie Dickason
Title: The King's Daughter
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publish Date: Aug 20, 2009
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Crazy Book Tours
Book Blurb: Superb historical novel of the Jacobean court, in which Princess Elizabeth strives to avoid becoming her father's pawn in the royal marriage market The court of James I is a volatile place, with factions led by warring cousins Robert Cecil and Francis Bacon. Europe is seething with conflict between Protestants and Catholics. James sees himself as a grand peacemaker -- and what better way to make his mark than to use his children in marriage negotiations? Into this court come Henry, Prince of Wales, and his sister Elizabeth. Their louche father is so distrusted that soon they are far more popular than he is: an impossibly dangerous position. Then Elizabeth is introduced to Frederick of Bohemia, Elector Palatine. He's shy but they understand one another. She decides he will be her husband -- but her parents change their minds. Brutally denied Henry's support, how can Elizabeth forge her own future? At once a love story, a tale of international politics and a tremendous evocation of England at a time of great change, this is a landmark novel to thrill all lovers of fine historical fiction.

Review: I wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually did. I was gung ho for a book about a royal that wasn't a Tudor.  Elizabeth's story seems to be dragged out. There were times when I had to look up information about her so I had an idea of how old she was.

The first part is the slowest dealing with Elizabeth's unknowing part in the Gunpowder Plot to assissinate her father. Christie doesn't spare her readers from the gruesome outcome. Elizabeth witnsses the execution of Fawkes and his conspiritors. They were hung, drawn and quartered.

This was definitely an age were punishments were gruesome.

But the book isn't bad. It really paints a good portrait of what James I was like and the relationship between Elizabeth and her brother Henry and her younger brother Charles. I often found Baby Charles was portrayed a bit unfairly. He seemed to be a spoiled brat, yet all accounts of him that I found said he emulated his older brother Henry.

I appreciated the historical accuracy, but the fictional characters Christie added didn't enhance the story. In fact, they detracted from an otherwise interesting story. I would have liked to know more about Elizabeth than the battle between her and her father over marriage. The slave girl, Tallie, didn't even seem necessary as a character, since she didn't make an appearance until Elizabeth was presented in London. There were some scenes that just didn't seem plausible for a princess to be doing, particularly when they snuck out to a brothel so that Elizabeth could learn about lovemaking, via a peephole in a wall.

Elizabeth wasn't very interesting. I found myself more interested in the intrigues of the court. Her father's preference for men. The religious beliefs of her brother, who had his men pay a tithe when they swore. All were more interesting than Elizabeth and her desire to choose her husband. It is because of the rest of the family that I finished this book. Had Christie not brought those characters to life, I probably would have abandoned this book.

Rating: 3 flowers


Rex Robot Reviews said...

I thought this one looked good- great review :)

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