Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Captive Queen: A Novel of Mary Stuart by Danny Saunders

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Read: August 23, 2014

Political schemes, religious partisanship and unbridled love shake the Royal Court of Scotland at the end of the Stuart dynasty. Witness to sordid murders, spy for Her Majesty among the Protestants of the infamous preacher John Knox, forced to give up her one true love, thrown out onto the streets then ruthlessly attacked by a drunkard, Charlotte Gray will do everything in her power to remain the sovereign's lady-in-waiting. As for the Queen of Scots, she faces turmoil of a completely different kind: prisoner in a castle under the command of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England, Mary Stuart learns that she is the victim of a vast conspiracy and that her English counterpart has ordered her imminent execution. Despite their hardships, Mary and Charlotte will keep their dignity throughout the storm. The two women will finally find serenity, one in the arms of a man and the other in the arms of God. Interwoven with historical facts of the era, the thrilling The Captive Queen saga is worthy of the greatest royal intrigues that still fascinate us several centuries later.

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I have mixed feelings about Danny Saunders' The Captive Queen. I liked the content and was genuinely intrigued by some of the drama Saunders created, but his style choices made it difficult for me to really get into and appreciate the story. 

Mary Stuart is a fascinating historical figure so I completely understand Saunders' enthusiasm for crafting a novel out of her experiences. In terms of content I think the author did an admirable job recounting the conspiracies, drama and tension that surrounded the Scottish Queen and I enjoyed the perspective Mary's lady-in-waiting, Charlotte Gray brought to the narrative. 

Saunders' interpretation of Mary and Charlotte are certainly worth noting. Mary herself is somewhat different than I expected, but I ultimately found Saunders' version of both original and thought-provoking. Charlotte is hard, calculating and difficult, but rather intriguing when you get right down to it. 

In terms of style, I would have liked more ambiguity. Saunders has a tendency to spell out every detail and while I appreciate the author's enthusiasm, I personally would have enjoying piecing together various elements of the story on my own.

All told, The Captive Queen is a detailed historical that offers a creative glimpse into Mary's world. A little rough around the edges, but not a bad introduction to the tragic monarch. 

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"My enemies, the ones who have brought me here, you shall be judged by the Almighty for your sins."
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Check Out All the Stops on Danny Saunders' The Captive Queen: A Novel of Mary Stuart Blog Tour Schedule


Monday, August 25
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, August 26
Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession
Wednesday, August 27
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Thursday, August 28
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Friday, August 29
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Monday, September 1
Review at JulzReads
Tuesday, September 2
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, September 3
Interview at To Read or Not To Read
Friday, September 5
Review & Giveaway at Book Lovers Paradise
Monday, September 8
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, September 9
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, September 10
Excerpt & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Friday, September 12
Review at Princess of Eboli

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