Sunday, 19 April 2009

The Other Queen - Philippa Gregory

Two women fighting for one man; two queens competing for dominance.

Mary Queen of Scots is in flight from rebels in Scotland, and puts her trust in her cousin Elizabeth. But she finds herself imprisoned as the enforced quest of George Talbot and his determined new wife, Bess of Hardwick. The couple welcome the doomed queen, certain that this will bring them nothing but advantage in the competitive world of Tudor England. To their horror they find that their home becomes the epicentre of intrigue against Elizabeth. Even their own loyalty comes under suspicion, as George's hopeless admiration for the beautiful Mary is impossible to hide.

The conspiracies come together in the greatest threat that Elizabeth has ever faced. She has no choice but to instruct her spy-master, Cecil, to set the trap to catch her cousin. But even he is caught by the spell of this remarkable young woman, who is prepared to die rather than deny her need for freedom.

I read this book in about three days - I just could not put it down. Each chapter is written from either Mary, Bess or George's point of view. The intrigue is seen from all sides, as is the conspiracy. It becomes very involved with other character who cross each of the three's path with different affect. The story line moves at as fast a pace as the change of location as the trio move around England at the request and sometimes whim of Elizabeth, or is it Cecil that makes these decisions?

This is the first Philippa Gregory book I have read and I am now hooked. I bought this one because it is on offer in Waterstones (spend over £10 and the book is half price) but it is also on offer on Amazon.

A really entriging and absorbing read.


Julie said...

Glad you enjoyed it Clare.

Karen is a big Phillippa Gregory fan, i've only read one of her books before.

Karan said...

Haven't yet read a PG book I haven't liked/enjoyed - she seems to have a thorough grasp of the Tudor era that shines through. :0)

Always smiling said...

Hi All,
Sorry I haven't posted before, I am having time problems, there just isn't enough!
I have only read one book by PG and altho' it was ok 'The other Bolyn Girl' I think it was called.
I have tried to read others but just can't take to them. I don't think it is the author just I don't like Historical Novels

Chris Hancock.

Anonymous said...

Hi Clare, I thoroughly agree with you, this was a compelling read. I have read most of Philippa Gregory's books - both the historic novels and the Wideacre series - and have always enjoyed them!