Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Young Bess


Young Bess by Margaret Irwin. 1944/2010. [March 2010] SourceBooks. 400 pages.

She had been allowed to come out to the royal flagship, and had been eating cherries and strawberries dipped in wine.

Young Bess follows the adventures and misadventures of the Tudor family. The title leads you to believe the focus is on Elizabeth and Elizabeth alone. But that isn't quite the case. It is the story of some rather turbulent years (well, most years were turbulent with the Tudors I've found!) in English history.

This book will see the death of King Henry VIII, Catherine Parr (the former Queen), Tom and Edward Seymour, and Edward VI. It stars the two Seymour brothers battling for power, a young Jane Grey, a young Elizabeth (of course), and a not-so-young Mary. Edward VI does enter into it a tiny bit. But not all that often, whether that's because he had little to do with his sisters and cousins or if he just didn't do much of anything, I don't know.

Did I like this one? Mostly. There were places where it was cleverly and amusingly written. Where it was just fun to read. There were also a few places where it was a bit boring. I did think it was well-written. And I do think fans of historical fiction will probably like it. Especially those who love to read anything and everything written about the Tudors.

There will be two others in this series.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

3 comments:

Anonymous,  1:29 PM  

Fun review, Becky! Especially well said about those turbulent Tudor times... indeed, when weren't they?:) L.

Elizabeth 8:36 PM  

I agree, parts were very well written, and others a little slow. But it was another perspective on Elizabeth, and her formative years are rarely written about in fiction.

Folder Printing 7:36 AM  

This book story is really interesting i like thanks for share it.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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