James I is king of England and the British Isles, though he is not nearly as popular with his subjects as his son Henry and daughter Elizabeth are. Elizabeth has no idea how precarious her position is, as the king's daughter, nor how much danger her brother is in. After discovering a treasonous plot to put Elizabeth on the throne, the king punishes his children in cruel ways. Elizabeth's only hope at happiness is marriage, but fears her father will never consent to a union. How is Elizabeth going to survive her situation in life?
I am a huge fan of the British royal history, so I thought this book was going to be fantastic. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed; the book is good, but not quite as wonderful as I hoped it to be. The history is told as fiction in an accurate and fairly engaging way. The storyline is definitely not the issue. The plot is engaging, and multifaceted. You have intrigue, you have mystery, you have romance. The story itself is solid.
My biggest problem was the character development. I never really felt close to Elizabeth as a character, and it is only through her relationship with Tallie, one of her ladies in waiting, that I felt I got to know Elizabeth at all. I found the writing to be a little stiff, which given the royal subject matter was probably appropriate, but still difficult for me to allow myself to really sink into the story. For that reason, it took me much longer to read than it normally would to read a book of this length.
Any fan of British royal fiction will enjoy this book. If you like the books of Philippa Gregory, I believe you will enjoy the book, though it is not quite on par with Gregory's writing.
I received a touring copy of the book courtesy of Crazy Book Tours.