Book Reviews

Historical Fiction

Author:Jean Plaidy
one of the preeminent authors of historical fiction for most of the twentieth century, is the pen name of the proliflic English author Eleanor Hibbert, also known as Victoria Holt. Jean Plaidy`s novels had sold more than 14 million copies worldwide by the time of her death in 1993.

IN THE SHADOW OF THE CROWN
THE TUDOR QUEENS


Legendary historical novelist Jean Plaidy reveals the heart of England`s first ruling queen, "Bloody Mary", in this gripping tale of faith, hope, and tragedy.


As Henry VIII`s only child, the future seemed golden for Princess Mary. She was the daughter of Henry`s first queen, Katherine of Aragon, and was heir presumptive to the throne of England. Red-haired like her father, she was also intelligent and deeply religious like her staunchly Catholic mother. But her father`s ill-fated love for Anne Boleyn would shatter Mary`s life forever. The father who had once adored her was now intent on having a male heir at all costs. He divorced her mother and, at the age of twelve, Mary was banished from her father`s presence, stripped of her royal title, and replaced by his other children--first Elizabeth, then Edward. Worst of all, she never saw her beloved mother again; Katherine was exiled too, and died soon after. Lonely and miserable, Mary turned for comfort to the religion that had sustained her mother.
In a stroke of fate, however, Henry`s much-longed-for son died in his teens, leaving Mary the legitimate heir to the throne. It was,, she felt, a sign from God--proof that England should return to the Catholic Church. Swayed by fanatical advisors and her own religious fervor, Mary made horrific examples of those who failed to embrace the Church, earning her the immortal nickname "Bloody Mary". She was married only once, to her Spanish cousin Phillip II--a loveless and childless marriage that brought her to the edge of madness.
With In the Shadow of the Crown, Jean Plaidy brings to life the dark story of a queen whose road to the throne was paved with sorrow.


My Take: The book kept my interest right from the beginning. A rich cast of characters that one loved/hated at different times.
Henry seems to have become a totally different man after hooking up with Anne Boleyn. Was she a witch?? Or just a woman who wanted power? Knowing a little something of Anne, I feel that the charges brought against her were trumped up.
Somewhere in Henry`s heart I think he still felt something for Katherine, but it was to late to go back.
Mary had a love / hate relationship with Elizabeth, she was never fully able to trust Elizabeth. Edward was under the influence of power hungry men. Being sick I think he didn`t realize certain things he was doing.
300 people were burned at the stake during Mary`s reign for not denouncing the Reformed Religion.

And the story goes on, if your into Medieval History, then this and all the other books in the series are for you. "Long Live the Queen"



 I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions are 100% my own.

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            The
                                                             Constant Princess    

                                                                       
                                                                   PHILIPPA
                                                                   GREGORY


                                      THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER!
                              "In her addictive new novel, [Gregory] turns her eye to
                         Katherine of Aragon, a princess who bacame Queen of England--
                                     all by the dint of a well-kept secret."  --Marie Claire

                         "I am Catalina, Princess of Spain, daughter of the two greatest monarchs
                               the world has ever known...and I will be Queen of England."



Thus, bestselling author Philippa Gregory introduces one of her most unforgettable heroines: Katherine of Aragon. Known to history as the Queen who was pushed off her throne by Anne Boleyn, here is a Katherine the world has forgotten: the enchanting princess that all England loved. First married to Henry VIII`s older brother, Arthur, Katherine`s passion turns their arranged marriage into a love match;
but when Arthur dies, the merciless English court and her ambitious parents-the crusading King and Queen of Spain- have to find a new role for the widow. Ultimately, it is Katherine herself who takes control of her own life by telling the most audacious lie in English history, leading her to the pinnacle of power in England.
   Set in the rich beauty of Moorish Spain and the glamour of the Tudor court, The Constant Princess  presents a woman whose constantcy helps her endure betrayal, poverty, and despair, until the inevitable moment when she steps into the role she has prepared for all her llife. Henry VIII`s Queen, Regent, and commander of the English army in their greatest victory against Scotland.

"Gregory`s story is as ambitious as its main character..." --Entertainment Weekly
"Gregory makes the broad sweep  of history vibrant and intimate."--Kirkus Reviews


        Philippa Gregory is the author of several bestselling novels including The Other Boleyn Girl, The Queen`s Fool, and The Virgin`s Lover. A writer and broadcaster for radio and television, she lives in England. She welcomes visitors and messages at her website, www.philippagregory.com.


    My Thoughts:  We meet Catalina as a young child in Spain. Her parents are always fighting the Moors and winning lands for Spain. Catalina has been betrothed to Prince Arthur and taught that she is the Princess of Wales and one day will become Queen of England.

  When Catalina & Arthur`s wedding finally comes about, the two do not like each other. It takes a long cold journey to Ludlow Castle in Wales and Catalina`s despondency for Arthur to realize that he`s been a jerk and treated her unfairly. While at Ludlow they secretly meet nightly in Catalina`s rooms and plan their ruling of the kingdom when they come to the throne. After a few months of marriage Arthur becomes ill with fever and passes away but not before he extracts a promise from Catalina to lie about consummating their marraige. He wants her to marry his younger brother Henry and fulfill her dream of  becoming Queen and putting their plans into action.

It takes many years for her dream to come true, Henry is a spoiled brat, doesn`t understand how to be a ruler and he`s always off flirting with pretty girls. He and Katherine suffer a miscarriage, a baby`s death, only to end having one living child.... a girl.

Katherine does well ruling the kingdom. If only she had learned how to rule her husband, so as not to be put aside for the one they called a witch Anne Boleyn.

I learned things about Katherine that I never knew . I think she had finally reached the  same status as her parents, she was a great monarch and would always be the Queen of England til she died.

I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions are 100% my own. 





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                             A Prequel to the Internationally Bestselling Mortal Instruments Series



                                   THE INFERNAL DEVICES

                                            _Book One_



                                    Clockwork Angel
                                      Cassandra Clare

 From inside cover:

   Magic is dangerous-but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the timme is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London`s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks, and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
  Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, who are members of the secret organization called the Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What`s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the club, will not stop at nothing to claim Tessa`s power for his own.
  Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institue, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by-and torn between-two best friends. James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm`s length...everyone, that is, but Tessa.
As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.




  My take: I was swept in right from the start, the story kept me on the edge of my seat. I was glad to see Magnus Bane & Camille again. Will reminded me of Jace, just the way he talked and his actions. I did feel sorry for James and his "disability", I really hope he can find a cure. Tessa seems to be like Clary.  Jessamine is  ditzy, lol, at least I think she is. Henry and Charlotte do a good job of running the Institute and I hope they get to keep their positions.
  Looking forward to reading Book Two!!

I purchased this book from Walmart.  All opinions are 100& my own.


















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                             New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author
                              SHERRYL WOODS
                      
                      The Summer Garden
                                    A CHESAPEAKE SHORES NOVEL


                    New York Times and USA TODAY  bestselling author
                         Sherryl Woods  proves once more that home is
                          always where the heart is.


                       

  Falling for "Maddening Moira" O`Malley was the unexpected highlight of Luke O`Brien`s Dublin holiday. So when she pays a surprise visit to Chesapeake Shores, Luke is thrilled........
at first. A fling with this wild Irish rose is one thing, but forever? Maybe someday, but not when he`s totally focused on establishing a business that will prove his mettle to his overachieving
family.

Given Luke`s reaction, Moira has some soul-searching of her own to do. Scarred by her father`s abandonment, she wonders if Luke, with his playboy past, is truly the family man she longs. Adding to her dilemma, she`s offered an amazing chance at a dream career of her own.

Deep down, though Moira knows home is the real prize, and that love can be every bit as en-
chanting as a summer garden.


 My take: This delightful story keeps you turning page after page. Will Luke and Moira ever
   get together? Can Nell(Luke`s grandmother) & Dillon(Moira`s grandfather) nudge them in the
right direction? Grab a cuppa tea and head to the summer garden to find out what awaits this stubborn Irish couple.

I won this book from a blog contest. All opinions are 100% my own.
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