- File Size: 3472 KB
- Print Length: 259 pages
- Publisher: Orchard Hill Books (November 23, 2018)
- Publication Date: November 23, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07JZ79MJQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,752,042 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Queen's Letters (The Scottish Queen Trilogy Book 3) Kindle Edition
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“Matho…” Jehan pleaded. “We should help her.” Memories of Edinburgh crowded Matho’s mind. Like a cornered fox, his hackles rose and he glared at them. “Neither of you has any idea what a city under attack is like. The soldiers will have the pearls out of your ears and the money from wherever you hide it before you can say a word. If you survive rape and weeks of starvation, you’ll count yourself lucky, but you’ll have to fight every beggar, thief and prostitute in Paris to stay alive.”
Her mouth opened but no sound came out.
Fortunately, Matho is quick on his feet and takes both of them back to Scotland with him. Not only does Jehan turn out to be very helpful, the lonely wench turns into quite a catch. Meanwhile, Meg Douglas (remember her?) succeeds in marrying Matthew Lennox, the alleged love of her life, only to see him fly off to Scotland on some perfidious expedition ordered by his new master, Henry VIII. You can just feel the disillusionment oozing from her pores. But I didn’t feel terribly sorry for her! We all know Lennox is a scoundrel, but in this book, at least, he doesn’t get his just desserts. Not yet. There’s more to come! Looking forward to the next installment. The author kindly gave me a free copy for an honest review.
"I couldn’t put this book down. Using complex, well-developed main characters from different social strata this novel offers a glimpse of what life must have been like during this period at diverse levels of society."
Top international reviews
All the characters, the fictional hero Mathew Spirston, an Englishman born into a humble family, valued by the dowager queen, Marie de Guise, for his honesty, and many others spring to life.
Marie de Guise’s letters to her family in France and their letters to her are lost, probably stolen, in transit. Although Matho can’t speak French, in urgent need of advice from those she trusts, Marie sends him to deliver letters from her to her father, mother and brother. At risk of his life in France he sets out.
I really enjoy the author’s descriptions of people and places, two examples of which follow.
At Falkland Palace. “Marie de Guise took a deep breath and clasped her hands beneath the gold cross at her bosom. The lace and pearls that edged her neat cap glimmered and quivered in the candlelight.”
A Cardinal’s office. “The air was perfumed with a mixture of woodsmoke, beeswax and rich lamp oil. The chamber was wood-pannelled with a pale stone hearth built where two walls met, a small jewelled cross stood on a table and a worn prie-dieu peeped out from between the folds of the altar cloth. A covered oak chair waited against the writing table. New candles stood in their horn holders, paper and ink nearby ready for use. It was a working office with few comforts.”
If you enjoy historical fiction with danger, drama, espionage and romance you will enjoy The Queen’s Letters.
On this occasion, we find Matho travelling to France as courier for Mary of Guise. It’s another step up the ladder and Matho has a lot to learn, but with the help of a couple of unexpected travelling companions, he makes it home in one piece.
Back on the Borders, Matho is quickly pulled into the muddy depths of Scottish politics. The author achieves a very good sense of the scrabbling for power going on around Mary of Guise.
As always there is adventure, humour and romance nicely packaged up with the history. Another excellent book in the series, I hope this isn’t the last we see of Matho.