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The Queen's Bastard (The Inheritors' Cycle, Book 1) Paperback – April 29, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
I want to like this book, I really do, but I have several problems with it. Firstly, the plot to take down the enemy queen because she has some claim to territory belonging to Lorraine, Belinda's queen, shows poor diplomatic planning. There's a real absence to heirs to most of the thrones in play, with almost all of them going to Javier, Belinda's prince. Lorraine has no heir, and without an heir to continue her own political interests after death, it would make more sense to naturalize Belinda and marry her off to Javier, or just plain naturalize Belinda and make her the heir to the throne. The problem of Lorraine's lack of an heir needs to be solved before she tries to remove the other queens from her playing board, but it never even comes up in the story. Big gaping plot hole here that nagged me through the entire book.
Secondly, the book often depicts the weakness of women's positions. Yes, historically women of all classes have held less power than men.Read more ›
Unfortunately, other factors "unhooked" me later in the book, and now I'm three-quarters of the way through _The Queen's Bastard_ and not really feeling the urge to go on.
First of all, having the Queen's secret illegitimate daughter become a spy is requiring a lot of suspension of disbelief on my part. One would think Queen Lorraine would want to overprotect Belinda, even if she didn't want to acknowledge her, in case there came a time when she needed to reveal her parentage and name her heir to the throne. So I don't think Lorraine would be sending Belinda into mortal danger. And even if Lorraine never planned to legitimize Belinda or name her heir, Belinda would be a valuable piece on the board in terms of dynastic marriages. So I can't see Lorraine sending Belinda to seduce in the name of espionage. She'd want to keep her untouched. Stifling, maybe, but such was the life of noblewomen of the time Murphy is evoking. Jacqueline Carey's Phedre was able to do the spy/courtesan thing because she was a commoner.
I managed to shove this out of my mind, though, and sink into the story, at least until Belinda lost my sympathy completely. I think what Murphy is trying to show is that Belinda's witchpower, once unleashed, takes over her in some way and goads her to dominate others, but I feel like it was taken too far in the scene where Belinda sets up her maid to be raped. Belinda lost me there.Read more ›
I did not get what I was hoping for. I understand that as a spy the main character will have to do a lot of things to get the job done. But as the book wore on...I wasn't sure WHAT that job was anymore and it became obvious that this is not another urban paranormal novel: its an erotic novel. I have nothing against sex, but I don't like erotic novels, per se. I really wanted something like her other series. I feel like I was misled.
If you're looking for a book with a fair amount of sex, weak plot, and progessively unlikeable characters, pick this book up. If you want something like CE Murphy's earlier books...pass this one by. I hope Ms. Murphy does not become another Laurell K. Hamilton and starts writing books I can no longer stand. I'd hate to lose another author.
However, the single overwhelming negative feature of this book is the gratuitous and highly unpleasant sex. It totally overshadows the rest of the book's flaws. Does the main character absolutely have to [...]almost all the other characters? And does the sex always have to involve pain? It doesn't get better as the book goes along, it gets worse. I gave up on the book at the point where she tied up her nice maid in bed all night, assaulted her like the girl was a sex toy, and gagged her so the 'heroine' could sleep through the maid's crying. What a way to create a sympathetic main character! (not)
If you're looking for a book filled with vivid descriptions of S&M tinged sex, this is the book for you. If you're looking for a good read with magic, politics, and assassination... keep looking.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good story line and well written. Only complaint was too much graphic sex. It detracted from otherwise enjoyable book. Did not add anything to story line. Read morePublished 18 months ago by D. Parsons-Barrett
Interesting reading but not as well done as walker papers Not sure anything will be although house of cards etc are good as well. Read morePublished 20 months ago by A reader
Have enjoyed other items by this author, but this world created by Murphy is more complicated than I care to maintain or would recommed. Read morePublished on February 18, 2014 by P. Moseley
The story is hard to follow and it was hard to stay focused because the author is all over the place so often. Read morePublished on August 18, 2012 by cmdavis
This book constantly bordered between 1 or 2 stars. If there'd been a half-star mark, I probably would have given that instead. This book was kind of a chore sometimes. Read morePublished on June 29, 2012 by Sarah
Belinda Primrose is a really well thought out character. The way she keeps her emotions at bay on the outside has me wishing that I could do the same. :)Published on January 5, 2012 by Ami
This book had me torn. Sometimes I absolutely HATED this book and the next I couldn't put it down. It was definitely a love-hate relationship. Read morePublished on November 21, 2010 by K. Opsahl
I thought Queen's Bastard was a great tale of political intrigue, with an interesting anti-heroine, several levels of backstabbing and a well paced story. Read morePublished on June 4, 2010 by A. Horton
The main character, Belinda, is presented in a way that is very female, though not very feminine. Her mix of strengths and flaws provides solid reading material as she develops... Read morePublished on January 22, 2010 by Rover