- File Size: 4264 KB
- Print Length: 396 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1542639360
- Publication Date: April 12, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01N4UWSZF
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,778 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$13.95|
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Queen of Martyrs: The Story of Mary I (Plantagenet Embers Book 3) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 396 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
Wilcoxon's book opens with Mary at prayer, a fitting start. Throughout the novel, she continues to linger on these very specific traditions and ceremonies. So often, these are left out or glossed over in historical fiction, but here they are a character unto themselves. I was particularly moved by a scene set during Mary's Maundy Thursday giving. It was almost as if I could see the entire thing play out in my mind. One of the things I loved most was seeing the relationships between Mary and the women in her life. The sisterly bond she shares with Kateryn Parr and Margaret Pole is at turns heartwarming and heartbreaking; Her ladies, Fran and Susan offer another dimension, Mary as a kind, yet naïve employer. Elizabeth I is the least likeable of the cast, and while I don't necessarily see her in the same way, this is Mary's story and it's probably exactly how she saw her younger sister.
For me, the last third of the book, detailing Mary's marriage to Phillip and her relationship to Cardinal Reginald Pole is where Wilcoxson really shines. The intimate moments are told in such achingly tender detail, you can't help but see the humanity inside Mary. I was stunned by the author's take on Mary and Reginald's relationship, but I think she's really hit on something there. I won't reveal more because *spoilers.* I'm always drawn to novels that focus on women who didn't have happy endings, because not everyone gets those. Life is real and it's raw, and full of pain. Wilcoxson never shies away from that; nor does she gloss over Mary's flaws. She is judgmental and obstinate, but also compassionate and capable of great love - a true and complex human.
Wilcoxson starts by showing Mary desperately longing for her father's approval and seems to underemphasize the role that her mother, Katherine of Aragon, played in shaping her character. The novel also never quite explores just how much danger Mary was in during most of her life, with Anne Boleyn regularly demanding that Henry VIII have her killed, and how precarious her position was even after Anne and the Boleyn family fell out of grace. These would have helped make it clear that while Mary had her weaknesses, she was also astute enough to survive the turbulence that took so many lives.
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