April 7, 2011

Review : The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory

Title : The Queen's Fool
Author : Philippa Gregory
Reading Dates : 16 Mar - 24 Mar 2011
The Queen's Fool: A Novel (Boleyn)
The Tudor Court Novels
The books in the series so far :
  • The Constant Princess
  • The Other Boleyn Girl
  • The Boleyn Inheritance
  • The Queen's Fool
  • The Virgin Lover
  • The Other Queen
  • The Wise Woman
From Amazon :
A young woman caught in the rivalry between Queen Mary and her half sister, Elizabeth, must find her true destiny amid treason, poisonous rivalries, loss of faith, and unrequited love.

It is winter, 1553. Pursued by the Inquisition, Hannah Green, a fourteen-year-old Jewish girl, is forced to flee Spain with her father. But Hannah is no ordinary refugee. Her gift of "Sight," the ability to foresee the future, is priceless in the troubled times of the Tudor court. Hannah is adopted by the glamorous Robert Dudley, the charismatic son of King Edward's protector, who brings her to court as a "holy fool" for Queen Mary and, ultimately, Queen Elizabeth. Hired as a fool but working as a spy; promised in wedlock but in love with her master; endangered by the laws against heresy, treason, and witchcraft, Hannah must choose between the safe life of a commoner and the dangerous intrigues of the royal family that are inextricably bound up in her own yearnings and desires.

Teeming with vibrant period detail and peopled by characters seamlessly woven into the sweeping tapestry of history, The Queen's Fool is another rich and emotionally resonant gem from this wonderful storyteller.

Book Review of The Queen's Fool.
I liked The Queen’s Fool but this is not a story that is easy to read. There are simply too many senseless deaths and heartbreaking moments to make it an “enjoyable” read.

Still I’m glad I picked it up. The characters, whether fictional or real, comes wonderfully to life. They weren’t all saints or sinners but real people. They had their faults and strong points. So much so that it is hard to hate them even when they behave despicably. Because we understand that the demands of their times and upbringing make them so. Which is what makes seeing them pass on one after another and in rather desolate conditions, rather depressing.

Of course seeing the events through Hannah’s eyes makes me easily empathize with those she loves or admires. I not only gained an understanding of the forces that drove the actions of these people but how events might have influenced those around them. The Queen’s Fool has certainly left me intrigued by the Tudor court and curious to find out more.

My conclusions :
  • Would I re-read the book ? Yes.
  • Would I want to read the next book in the series ? Yes.
  • Would I want to own my personal copy if I didn’t already own it ? Probably, but that still depends on the next book.
  • Who would I recommend this too? Historical fiction readers.
  • For those looking to read the book, would I recommend buying or borrowing the book? I'm reserving judgement until I finish the next book.

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