Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Historical Fiction Virtual Tours Book Review: Queen Elizabeth's Daughter

Publication Date: March 18, 2014
St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback; 320p
ISBN-10: 0312662122

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.

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If you love the Tudor period, Queen Elizabeth's Daughter should be on your reading list. This book provides a very different view of Elizabeth's reign, through the eyes of her ward, Mary Shelton. (though part of the story is told from the Queen's viewpoint too)
Mary is a character you will love because she is very much a teenager as the book starts out. She's spoiled and a little rebellious and she wants to do her own thing, but you do watch her grow as a woman. But for me, the real star of this book is Elizabeth I. 

Queen Bess was always my favorite of the Tudors. I loved Anne Clinard Barnhill's portrayal of her in this book. She is shown with her flaws. This woman was very paranoid, but after having Henry VIII for a dad, who wouldn't be?

I liked the maternal side we see here. It makes Elizabeth more human and easier to like, even though she's wasn't a woman that you could really warm up to.

Queen Bess is one that so many author's paint as a hard woman. Wouldn't she have to be to hold her thrown? This book gives her softer side, showing her as a woman who loves her Robin and her "Fawn," but also a ruler with a bit of her father's temperament.

Mary brought out the good in her. I really came to love her and Lord Skydemore and their relationship. I felt terrible that because of the Queen they were never together enough for them to  have a family of their own. (John had 5 children from his first marriage)

If you love Tudor fiction, this is a great book and a must read.

Rating: 5 flowers

About the Author

Anne Clinard Barnhill has been writing or dreaming of writing for most of her life. For the past twenty years, she has published articles, book and theater reviews, poetry, and short stories. Her first book, AT HOME IN THE LAND OF OZ, recalls what it was like growing up with an autistic sister. Her work has won various awards and grants. Barnhill holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Besides writing, Barnhill also enjoys teaching, conducting writing workshops, and facilitating seminars to enhance creativity. She loves spending time with her three grown sons and their families. For fun, she and her husband of thirty years, Frank, take long walks and play bridge. In rare moments, they dance.

For more information, please visit Anne Clinard Barnhill’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.


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