Tag Archives: The Other Queen

Book Review- The Other Queen

Yesterday I  finished reading The Other Queen by Phillipa Gregory, and I really enjoyed it.  If you have seen my Goodreads bookshelf or any of my posts lately, you will know that I have been reading this for about a week and a half.  For me, this is a little weird, because usually I finish about two books a week- one a week if i have a lot to do. But this book is kind of long and I have had hardly any time to read lately!

So basically, this book is about Mary, Queen of Scots, and her “guardians”, in the 1570’s.  A little background info on the author, Phillipa Gregory; for most of her books she takes real life stories of English kings, queens, and members of the court and gives them drama and romance! Now, I don’t know if other people would like this, but the idea fascinated me from the start. So while this book is for the most part historically accurate, there is some very interesting stuff added!

This is the story of when Mary, Queen of Scots is removed from her throne in Scotland because of rebellion, and she takes refuge in England with her cousin, Queen Elizabeth.  However, because Queen Elizabeth is an illegitimate child of the king and Mary was the first heir to the throne, Queen Elizabeth is paranoid about her.  She places her on a kind of “house arrest” with one of her most trusted lords, George Shrewsbury and his new wife, Bess.  This is the story of her many attempts at escape, finding love, and I have to warn you, has a little bit of a tragic ending.

That tragic ending, in fact, is the reason that on Goodreads I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.  I’m pretty sure I haven’t had an opportunity to discuss this on here yet, but I really, really, really don’t like sad endings.  I respect the power of a heartbreaking ending from a writer’s perspective, because it can bring a whole new level of emotion to the novel, but as a reader, a sad ending leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth about the book. Although in this book, I agree with the sad ending, it definitely fit the needs of the story.

The other thing that I didn’t like about this book is that it seems to be longer than it should be.  I realize that the author is trying to make the book accurate to the actual time period Queen Mary was kept in captivity, but it comes off as a little drawn out.

Those two things are the ONLY things I disliked about this book. The book switches perspective with every chapter, we go from the honorable George, to the extremely beautiful Mary, to the frugal Bess.  For the entire book we aren’t sure who is the main character- we guess it is Mary- we aren’t sure because each of the characters get equal emphasis- but at the end you find out. There is a little bit of romance in this book, but not enough to bother anyone who doesn’t like romance.  The Other Queen certainly keeps your emotions from getting too comfortable, and I don’t believe I have ever read a book with more dynamic characters.

I know this will be a well worn book on my bookshelf, and I can’t wait to read her other books, particularly The White Queen, which shows Queen Elizabeth’s story. Hopefully these two books intertwine with each other, but I can’t be positive. Anyone who has read them both, could you tell me please?

I highly recommend this to anyone, particularly if you enjoy history and old England. If this doesn’t sound quite right for you, check out some of Phillipa Gregory’s other books, I bet they are just as good!

Tell me your thoughts if you have read or are reading this, as always!

🙂 Olivia


Filed under Modern Fiction, Romance

Febuary 2012- In Books

Oh, gosh.  Where did this month go! But then again, this is a celebration as well! Because……. (drumroll please!)….. it is almost this blog’s one month-aversary!!!! Yay! This is amazing, but I can’t believe it has been that long!

So, this is just a recap of what this month has been like- in book terms. I got through about a book a week this month- which might be good for most people, but for me it really stinks! I usually get through two books a week at least, and according to my 2012 Reading Challenge counter on the sidebar, I am 8 books behind on my goal. Of course, I didn’t start this in January, so it is a little bit off.  But I’m going to have to step it up if I want to meet my goal of 75 books in 2012!

I read

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle- does it count if I didn’t finish this? I think I mentioned in a previous post, but I tried very hard to read it because it was just not my book. I tried to slug through it and got about halfway through and then I went online to see if the end was good.  Most of the time I don’t do this, but I only wanted to know if the ending would look up. And apparently *spoiler* almost every character dies.  So I refused to finish it.

The Secret Lives of Dresses- I liked this book.  It was a very chick-lit sort of read, but it still took me a while because I have a lot of homework lately. Darn it. Here’s the review

Out of Time- I love love LOVE this book! I highly recommend it to anyone! Unless you are a guy. Because I hate to stereotype, but this is a romance as well as adventure, so a guy probably wouldn’t like it.  But still a great read for anyone. Review.

Eat Pray Love- I did not like this book, and I don’t recommend it to anyone.  I thought is was boring, prepaid, and very drawn out. Full review here.

Water for Elephants- Loved it! I highly, highly recommend it. Full review and summary here

The Other Queen- I am reading this now and it is possibly my favorite on the list! I never want to finish this book- it is that good- but at the same time she has many other books as well that I can read.  I am mostly done with this and will probably finish it tomorrow because I have both homeroom and a substitute teacher. I’ll have to remember to pack an extra book.  And I will review this book once I finish it!

So, there you have it. As you can probably tell by my To Read 2012 page, I have many listed but not many crossed off. But hey, that’s what happens when you love books! 😀

If you are a fellow book blogger or writer, I highly recommend joining Goodreads’ 2012 reading challenge. It is a little late, but still is a good way to set goals and track your progress visually.

Tell me what you have been reading lately! Also, what books have you started but never been able to finish?

Happy Reading!!!



Filed under Fiction, Modern Fiction, Romance