Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Tudor Throne by Brandy Purdy

Title: The Tudor Throne
Author: Brandy Purdy
Pages: 376
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.
My rating: 4 stars
Goodreads rating: 3.49 stars
Published: June 3, 2011
{Won in a Goodreads giveaway}

In the wake of King Henry VIII's death, England's throne is left in a precarious state—as is the peculiar relationship between his two daughters. Mary, the elder, once treasured, had been declared a bastard in favor of her flame-haired half-sister, Elizabeth, born of the doomed Anne Boleyn. Yet the bond between the sisters was palpable from the start. Now reinstated, Mary eventually assumes her place as queen. But as Mary's religious zeal evolves into a reign of terror, young Elizabeth gains the people's favor. Gripped by a tormenting paranoia, Mary is soon convinced that her beloved Elizabeth is in fact her worst enemy. And the virginal Elizabeth, whose true love is her country, must defy her tyrannical sister to make way for a new era. . .
A brilliant portrait of the rule of "Bloody Mary" and her intricate relationship with Elizabeth I, the adored "Virgin Queen," here is a riveting tale of one family's sordid and extraordinary chapter in the pages of history.

Henry VIII is dead. His own children sat in his chamber and watched him die. Now, his young son, Edward, is promptly named king, though he has little to do with any ruling. Mary and Elizabeth are both put aside, though Mary begins to fear for her life as she is still a practicing Catholic during her brother's Protestant reign. Edward's health is decent at its best, and he begins to have problems shortly after ascending the throne. At his death, Mary becomes queen and begins her quest to save her sister from scandal and her Protestant ways.

Mary and Elizabeth seem to switch roles towards the end of this book. Elizabeth is seen as a reckless child, a youth who does what she will regardless of the consequences. Mary is devoted to her God and her religion above all else, even when the threat of death hangs over her when her brother declares no other religion should be practiced but his father's Protestantism. After a barely concealed scandal between a young 13-year-old Elizabeth and a thirty-something Thomas Seymour, Elizabeth swears off love of anything other than her country. Mary, a few years later, after being shown a portrait of a man, swears off love of anything other than him and God {although, I must say, I think she would swear off God for him}.

I got this book in a Goodreads giveaway and I really enjoyed it, although sometimes it was a tad difficult to follow. It went back and forth between Mary and Elizabeth, every other chapter taking the point of view of the other woman. Sometimes I honestly got confused why Mary would be talking about her lover, and then realized it was the next chapter and was in fact Elizabeth. Although, honestly that was only a little hindering in the reading. The love scenes between young Elizabeth and Thomas Seymour were more on the disturbing side, although it was honestly difficult to remember he wasn't a young man following his lust instead of reason {he is written much like an idiot, actually}.  Those scenes definitely make this book an adult book - I would not recommend this to anyone under 17!

The author did a good job capturing my attention and holding it. While it did take me a while to read it {I have a lot on my "to-read" list}, I really enjoyed it. If you like any of Phillipa Gregory's Tudor books, you would probably like this one. Its a bit of an easier read than hers, and just as captivating.

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