Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Book Review: THE OTHER QUEEN by Philippa Gregory

My Favorite & best fitting character description of the Queen of Scots, from Bess "the face of an angel, with teeth like a kitten". I had always been confused about Mary Queen of Scots, and Gregory made clear for me the many mix ups I had in my mind. The constant uprisings and Mary’s dramatic past in France and Scotland. Mary was interlaced with so many of the head honchos of Europe it was hard to keep it straight. Until I read this book I did not really get Mary or the logic of her case but I get it now. Gregory made it crystal clear the events that led up to Mary's ultimate demise. I enjoyed that the book was written from the point of view of three main characters. It was able to give a beginning, middle, and end from all necessary point of views. Mary defiantly occupies the villain role in Bess's life, Bess being the countess of Shrewsbury and her lord husband George Talbot were charged with the "other queens" guardianship. Mary being courageous and unrelenting in her plotting that never ended. She was a treasonous disaster for all who had contact with her. Elizabeth was quick to cut down all men who came under Mary’s spell. The secret under workings of Cecil, Elizabeth's top advisor will intimately end the cat and mouse game and Mary will try unsuccessfully for her freedom one more time too many. Bess was very intriguing for the fact she was a self made woman born a farmers daughter who become a countess. She was a relatable character, Mary the being the unrelatable other woman. I might buy this book. Especially if the new cover looks as good as I hope it will be in paperback that will be released on July 14th. I enjoyed reading this book and clearing up Mary’s juicy story in my mind. Defiantly not a re read for me but still enjoyable.

“Two women competing for a man's heart
Two queens fighting to the death for dominance
The untold story of Mary, Queen of Scots

This dazzling novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory presents a new and unique view of one of history's most intriguing, romantic, and maddening heroines. Biographers often neglect the captive years of Mary, Queen of Scots, who trusted Queen Elizabeth's promise of sanctuary when she fled from rebels in Scotland and then found herself imprisoned as the "guest" of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his indomitable wife, Bess of Hardwick.
The newly married couple welcome the doomed queen into their home, certain that serving as her hosts and jailers will bring them an advantage in the cutthroat world of the Elizabethan court. To their horror, they find that the task will bankrupt them, and as their home becomes the epicenter of intrigue and rebellion against Elizabeth, their loyalty to each other and to their sovereign comes into question. If Mary succeeds in seducing the earl into her own web of treachery and treason, or if the great spymaster William Cecil links them to the growing conspiracy to free Mary from her illegal imprisonment, they will all face the headsman.
Philippa Gregory uses new research and her passion for historical accuracy to place a well-known heroine in a completely new tale full of suspense, passion, and political intrigue. For years, readers have clamored for Gregory to tell Mary's story, and The Other Queen is the result of her determination to present a novel worthy of this extraordinary heroine”.


  1. I really hate to say anything negative about an author, but this one was a wall-banger for me...I couldn't like any of the characters and there was way too much repetition. The Other Boleyn Girl was my hook into HF though (and a great book too) and for that I will always be grateful! I also enjoyed her Meridon series....very good!

  2. I usually LOVE anything that Gregory writes but I could not get into this one. Perhaps it was the shifting points of view.


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