Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fourty-Seven & Fourty-Eight: The King's Daughter & The Queen's Captive - Barbara Kyle

I decided to write one post for both of these books since I read them back to back and really they focus on the same time period & characters.

Barbara Kyle continues her story about the Thornleigh family as they navigate the English court under Queen Mary and eventually Queen Elizabeth.  I read the first book in this series - The Queen's Lady - almost two years ago. Having read quite a few historical fiction books with the Tutor family as the subject matter, I was hesitant to read two more books about them.  But I knew that Barbara's writing style was clever and that she would integrate the history in an unique way.

The King's Daughter focuses on the time right after Queen Mary comes to power and is trying to finalize her marriage to Prince Phillip of Spain.  The heroine of this book is actually Honor's daughter Isabel.  Isabel betrothed is helping the rebels lead by Wyatt against the Queen to bring Princess Elizabeth to power.  Isabel is able to convince Wyatt that she can be a messenger from the French Ambassador to him.  Her family's history with neighbors - the Greenvilles - ends up causing her mother to get critical injured and her father to be put in jail.  While trying to rescue her father from jail, Isabel is forced to "pay" for his freedom by being violated by the head jailer.  Of course this "payment" backfires and her father is transferred to another jail. While in jail Isabel meets Carlos - a Spanish mercenary - who she ends up freeing & hiring to help her find where her father was taken.  Isabel is torn between helping the rebels and searching for her father with Carlos. As a fellow heretic that worked along side of her parents in the past threatens to expose her family's dark secrets, Isabel must find a way to get her parents to safety and still support her own beliefs.

The Queen's Captive focuses on the later half of Queen Mary's reign and the struggles she had to produce an heir.  Once again the heroine is Honor as she is called back to England to help advise Princess Elizabeth on matters of the court.  Richard is pardoned from the murder he committed and works on reestablishing their wool business in England.  Their son Adam commissions a new ship to be built and falls madly in love with the Princess.  The feud between the Greenvilles & the Thornleighs continues as religious tensions and threat of rebellion arise again. 

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