Friday, June 14, 2013

Review Me Twice - The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory

I came upon Gregory's books in high school.  This very book, in fact.  I wanted to read it so badly that a friend and I went halfsies on a copy and then traded off reading it.

So, my opinion of this book might be a little tainted because, well, I love Tudor England.  And it has to be a REALLY terrible book for me to not like it, even a little.

And Gregory does a better job than most. By using Hannah as our protagonist, we get to see things from an outside view.  She was a person who loved both Mary and Elizabeth equally, because they were both great women in their own right, which sometimes gets lost when reading about history.  (A lot of times, Mary gets painted as the nasty, old queen who hated everyone.)

I also like that you didn't get JUST Tudor England history in this book.  You got a lot of Spanish history too, mainly because Hannah had spent her life running from the inquisition.

I admit, there are probably parts where it's a little corny, but I can forgive that.  The writing is well done, Gregory has really done her research and it's just an enjoyable read.

My Bottom Line 5 out of 5

For all that Cassy (and others) praised this book, I couldn't help but shake the feeling that it was going to be long-winded and dry and all about the appalling intrigue found at court. Well, there is a lot about the English court, but the other parts weren't true. It's a fun and easy read, and there is enough going on to keep you interested, but not so much that you get confused.

Sometimes I'm not entirely sure about the character of Hannah. She waffles on things (I don't ever want a husband, but I love this guy, but I'm not ready to be a wife, but this guy isn't so bad, but...) but I think that's a fair reflection of a teenage girl's mind, so I can believe it was by design, not bad writing.

I really enjoyed this book, even though I thought it would fall more along the lines of "okay."


  1. I love this book. Its probably my favorite of the Tudor series so far, but I am also biased because I strongly identify with the main character. I always grew up with the notion that Jews in that time frame were doomed to be peasants, so it was great to see he being successful in a way.

    1. This was the first book I ever read by Gregory and I enjoyed it so much. I still enjoy it. I think I like The Constant Princess better (just because it's one of the few books out there that let's you realize that Catherine of Aragon was actually a bad ass, not a wilting flower), but it's a close race between the two.

  2. From what I've read in Gregory's Tudor Series I can say that she is my favorite guilty pleasure! I really enjoyed this book when I read it and liked it so much I gave it to my dad to read (no word on his opinion yet). I enjoyed Hannah as a character, and like Casey appreciated the relationship she had with both future queens. I also really enjoyed this as a coming of age story for Hannah Green/Verde.