Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: "The Queen's Pleasure" by Brandy Purdy

From Goodreads:  When young Robert Dudley, an earl’s son, meets squire’s daughter Amy Robsart, it is love at first sight. They marry despite parental misgivings, but their passion quickly fades, and the ambitious Dudley returns to court.

Swept up in the turmoil of Tudor politics, Dudley is imprisoned in the Tower. Also a prisoner is Dudley’s childhood playmate, the princess Elizabeth. In the shadow of the axe, their passion ignites. When Elizabeth becomes queen, rumors rage that Dudley means to free himself of Amy in order to wed her. And when Amy is found dead in unlikely circumstances, suspicion falls on Dudley—and the Queen…

Still hotly debated amongst scholars—was Amy’s death an accident, suicide, or murder?—the fascinating subject matter makes for an enthralling read for fans of historical fiction.

My Thoughts:  I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.  I know very little about Robert Dudley and yet this is the second book I have read in the past few weeks that features him and his family.  As I don't know much about him, I have no idead how historically accurate The Queen's Pleasure is but regardless, it is a fantastic story of failed love and intrigue.  Ms. Purdy does a great job of taking the reader into the minds of her two narrators, Amy Robsart Dudley and Queen Elizabeth I.  Her descriptions of the characters, their clothes, setting and thoughts are very detailed and I especially loved the descriptions of all of the clothing worn by her characters.

The main characters in this book are very well-developed.  Robert Dudley is portrayed as such an evil man in this book, at times I just wanted to kick him.  He was so horrible and fake to everyone around him and was basically the perfect villain for this story.  Was he really such a horrible person?  I don't know but for the sake of the story he was awful!  I hated reading about how badly he treated Amy and anyone who got in his way.  Amy, herself, was such a likable character but her situation is so sad.  At times, I found myself wanting to her to do something, anything, to improve her life but then I realized that in those days there was probably nothing she could have done.  She had no family or friends or money to help her escape from her marriage and it made me feel so bad for her.  Queen Elizabeth was probably the most interesting character in that I didn't know what to expect from her.  In the beginning, I assumed that I wouldn't like her but when the story is told from her point of view, she definitely becomes a more sympathetic character.  In the story, she went above and beyond to help Amy, someone she hardly knew, and wanted absolutely no credit for doing so. 

One of the things that I really liked about this story is that it showed a woman who was trapped in, and victimized by, a bad marriage and another woman who would do everything in her power to avoid such a situation.  Amy's marriage was an example of why Elizabeth wouldn't, and couldn't marry, if she wanted to stay in control of herself and England.  It was a fascinating contrast and really contributed to a great story.  Overall, this was a great story featuring a few well-known historical figures.  I have never read one of Ms. Purdy's books before but I noticed that my local library has two of her books, so I will definitely be checking those out.  4 stars.

**This book is published in the UK as "A Court Affair" by Emily Purdy**

1 comment:

  1. I read Purdy's last book an remember being a fan. I do think Dudley's marriage is really interesting, yet I've only read 1 or 2 books that tell it's story. So I do think this is one I'd probably enjoy.


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