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Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Red Queen's Daughter by Jacqueline Kolosov

Henry VIII’s last wife and queen, Katherine Parr, passed away not long after the infamous king of England, but her legacy did not die out. The late queen who was greatly respected for her intelligence and compassion and is still revered has left behind her daughter, Mary. Mary was Katherine’s only child with Thomas Seymour, the man Katherine married after Henry died—because Katherine died shortly after giving birth to Mary. With her father accused of treason and executed, Mary raised by another member of British nobility.

However, after a few years, Mary came under the guardianship of Lady Strange. Mary would learn that her new guardian was not any ordinary lady—she is a white magician—and Mary is fated to be one as well. Mary has a great destiny in store for her and will become a white magician to protect Queen Elizabeth’s, the Virgin Queen’s, reign. With that said, Mary begins to study magic, spells, different gem properties, how to detect people’s auras, as well as understanding magic—and understanding the fact that magic comes with a price. White magicians are selfless and use their powers to help others, unlike their counterparts, black magicians.

After years of training, Mary’s call to duty has finally come; she is to become a lady-in-waiting to the queen. Tearfully, she leaves her beloved guardian’s side on a journey that will test everything she has learned, as well as her own character. White magicians are not supposed to reveal themselves and Mary will have to work hard to protect Queen Elizabeth and her hold on the English throne. But is she prepared for the treachery of court life?

Court life is plagued with backstabbing courtiers who will stoop to nothing to get rid of their competition and gain favor in the queen’s court. And it is not better that there is something sinister afoot that leaves Mary wondering if there’s another magician—a black one—hiding among Queen Elizabeth’s court as well.

But not all problems are related to black magic. There are other plots and misdeeds occurring, including another of Queen Elizabeth’s lady-in-waiting getting pregnant. Understanding all the trouble and reputation-ruining that could occur because of this fact, Mary is grateful that she is a white magician and has sworn not to fall in love, but she attempts to help the lady-in-waiting with her new skills. Yet even though she spurns the advances of men, Mary cannot help but feel drawn to her dark and possibly sinister cousin—Edmund Seymour. Why does her dark cousin keep popping up and glancing her way? And why isn’t Mary able to fend him off? Is he behind some of the treachery at court? And why on earth can’t Mary detect his aura? It is rather frustrating, since Mary often gets a glimpse at a person’s character through their auras—could Edmund also know magic? Possibly black magic?

Mary may have years of training, but court life will prove to be another matter that Mary must master if she is to protect Queen Elizabeth’s rule. Mary has a long and arduous journey ahead of her to fulfill the destiny set out for her—a destiny fit for the daughter of a revered queen and of a lady who is intelligent and wise in her own right. Your mind is not always the only thing you can trust; sometimes it is your heart that you must listen to and follow to make the better decision.

Although not too much is known of the real Mary Seymour, daughter of Queen Katherine, this version of Mary would have undoubtedly made her loving and intelligent mother proud. Mary matured beautifully in this novel, and her story was full of other memorable characters that will take readers on a journey back to England during the Tudor era that they won’t be forgetting anytime soon!
There were some errors here and there and the author took some creative liberties (which is fine of course—it’s what made this story possible & what it is!) but overall was quite an excellent read.

9.458 (out of 10)


Rachael Stein said...

omg, i REALLY REALLY REALLY want to read this book :D now even more!!!

Lana said...

Wow! This looks really amazing. Thanks for the great review! I really love reading about the Tudors in general - and Elizabeth in particular. The Red Queen's Daughter looks like it's right up my alley!

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The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Divergent by Veronica Roth Firelight by Sophie Jordon Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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