Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory

Copyright: 2004
Publisher: Touchstone
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 500
Challenges: What's in a name (title), Year of the Historical, TBR
Author's Website

Simple Description:
Hannah Green has been running for her life. She is Spanish and her mother was burned at the stake because she is Jewish. Hannah and her father finally escape to England where they try to keep some of the Jewish traditions alive, but also go to church and make sure they are "practicing" the faith of England. Hannah's father owns a bookstore/printing press and one day when two men come to visit, Hannah see's a vision, a third man that the other two men quickly call an angel. Hannah is asked to come to court and the King likes Hannah because she is truthful and makes her his Holy Fool. Soon the King dies and Hannah becomes part of Queen Mary's court.

England is not at peace. Mary is Catholic and Elizabeth is Protestant. Mary becomes Queen because she is older and the first Tudor heir. Mary wants Elizabeth to be her friend and sister and in line for the next heir. However Elizabeth wants to be Queen now and comes up with plots to over-throw Mary. Hannah is caught in the middle.

Hannah is betrothed to another Jewish man. However she isn't ready to marry yet. She does lust after Lord Robert Dudley, one of the men that came to her father's shop. Unfortunately he becomes branded a traitor and it looks like Hannah is, again, caught in the middle.

Soon Hannah must decide if England is still safe for her. She is under the protection of the Queen, but is the Queen even safe?

Now what you really want to thoughts:
The Queen's Fool: A Novel (Boleyn) is only the second book I have read by the author, but wow, quickly becoming one of my favorites. I think I enjoyed this book better than The Other Boleyn Girl, but not so much because of the story but because I was used to the author's writing style and flow of the story.

I can't say how accurate the historical "facts" are, but I don't really care. haha! I enjoyed the story, I liked that it revolved around real historical individuals and yet the main character was fictional. I think this is perfect because it gives the author room to really create a story.

Definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction. Heck, I was so engaged in the story that I read instead of playing New Super Mario Bros, something that I've done almost every single day for the last couple of months (wow - it sounds so bad when I admit that out loud! I guess know you all know why I haven't been reading as much).

This is actually the 4th in the Tudor series by the author. Somehow I have read the 2nd and now the 4th. I'm not sure if I want to read the 1st and 3rd now or not. I already know what happens to the royal family, afraid I'll get bored by it, but also think I would still find it interesting. What do you guys think? Have any of you read them out of order and still enjoyed them?

This book is part of my collection and was either bought or given to me.

I am an Amazon associate. 


bermudaonion said...

I have a friend who raves about Gregory's work, so I really need to try one of her books. For some reason, the Tudors don't excite me though. That'll probably change once I do try a book.

Kris said...

Bermudaonion - I think I like the Tudor's because it's the one royal family that I remember learning about in school, thanks to Henry having so many wives. haha! I'm looking forward to trying one of her books about a different royal family though.

Just Mom said...

I just read this one too! And I am also very much out of order. I keep saying I need to read The Other Boleyn Gorl because that seems to be her most popular but I feel a little less left out now that I hear you favored The Queen's Fool more!

Kris said...

Just Mom - I thought more about it last night after I did my post and another reason I think I liked this one more is that I didn't know this story as much. With the Other Boleyn Girl - I had seen the movie before reading it and I watch The Tudors on showtime, so I was very familiar with the story and each one is different from the other.

Beth F said...

I've heard mixed reports on her factual accuracy, but I'm with you: If the story is gripping that just fine. I did love The Other Boleyn Girl, so I bet I'll love this.

Kris said...

Beth - I don't remember facts very well, so books like this are fun for me because I never notice what is accurate and what isn't. haha!