Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Queen's Fool Paperback – February 4, 2004
|New from||Used from|
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The narrator is a girl named Hannah Green, a young teenager who has fled Spain and its Inquisition with her father, following the death of her mother. She had been burned alive at the stake as a heretic, when it was discovered that she was a "Marrano", a false Christian, that is, a Jew who has converted to Christianity but who follows the Jewish faith in secret.
Landing in London, where her father opens a book store, Hannah makes the acquaintance of a handsome rake, Sir Robert Dudley, who discovers that Hannah has the gift of sight. She develops a personal relationship with him that eventually sees her enter into Queen Mary's service as her fool. Hannah serves Queen Mary, but at the same time, is sent by the Queen to serve her half-sister the Princess Elizabeth and spy upon her.
Meanwhile, Sir Robert Dudley also uses Hannah in his treasonous plot to see the Princess Elizabeth on the throne of England. So, Hannah finds herself walking a dangerous tightrope and is fearful of discovery of her role in the political intrigues that are welling around her, as well as discovery of her own background, which would be grounds for death. Her worst fears are nearly realized when the Queen marries Prince Phillip of Spain.
In the midst of all this political intriguing that appears to be going on all around her, Hannah has her own immediate future to think about, as she becomes betrothed to another Marrano such as herself.Read more ›
I found the indiscriminately sympathetic portrayal of Mary (known to history as Bloody Mary) troubling. The author seemed to think that because Mary was a wronged wife, her excesses were excusable. Even more disturbing, and harder to swallow, is that the main character, Hannah, a secret Jew who lives in fear of being burned as heretic, remains loyal and uncritical of Mary until the end.
Either Hannah is an insensitive hypocrite, indifferent to the suffering of others because of her own safety as a royal favorite, or she is a poorly drawn character. It is hard to believe someone whose own mother was burned at the stake could remain loyal to a woman who sent so many to be burned alive.
Gregory blames Mary's ministers, pretending Mary was largely unaware of what was being done. A ruler with Mary's absolute power "unaware"? That makes her either a disconnected, incompetent ruler (not Gregory's view), or one so weak she was completely dominated by her ministers, which there is no reason to believe.
Gregory did succeed in showing how sad Mary's life was in many ways: Early separation from her mother due to her father's selfish whims, loss of her position, a youth spent in a kind of exile, an unfaithful husband.
However, I also saw her parents' flaws in her: obsessive attachment to a indifferent man, fanaticism and sense of absolute truth which both parents possessed, and worse, a ruthlessness and cruelty in enforcing her will inherited from her father.
"Bloody Mary" traumatized her country and was, ironically, probably one of the reasons England turned staunchly Protestant.Read more ›
I never felt any kind of a bond with the main character, Hannah, and the story never seemed to pick up any steam. Although I think that the author tried to portray Hannah as young woman discovering her independence and asserting her individuality and strength, I found her to be wishy-washy, timid, indecisive and just plain disloyal. One moment she was the faithful servant of a member of the royal family and the next moment she was spying on them. She should have been tried for treason a hundred times over! The premise of the story (the unlikely relationship of a young Jewish girl escaping the Spanish Inquisition only to become an intimate member of the English royal court) was very interesting and carried so much potential, but the story never went anywhere and the details were superficial. The fact that Hannah was not a real person only added to my frustration in trying to determine to what extent the storyline details actually took place.
On a positive note, I did enjoy learning alittle more about 'Bloody Mary.' I have read so much lately pertaining to the Tudors, but have only limited background on this Queen.
All in all, I can say that I will definitely read any forthcoming book from Philippa Gregory, but can't say that this one compares on any level to some of her previous works.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very well written perspective from a young girl who doesn't really know what love is yet and the very real turmoil that often accompanies that war inside us. Read morePublished 20 hours ago by Amazon Customer
I really loved this book. Although the main character is fictional, this story highlights the tumultuous, dangerous times under the reign of Queen Mary, and how those who were... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Tameca E. Carter
This is my second favorite of the Tudor series after the first, The Constant Princess. Looking forward to the last one.Published 1 month ago by Kristen
I wasn't sure I would like this book in the beginning. Mainly because it took a little bit of reading to connect with the fictional character of Hanna . Read morePublished 1 month ago by sddunn