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