Yet another fantastic novel from Jean Plaidy! Mary, Queen of France tells the story of Mary Tudor, Henry VIII’s younger and favourite sister. Mary is described as being beautiful and stubborn, basically the female version of her brother Henry. Like any royal princess of this time, Mary has absolutely no say in who she will marry. First Mary is betrothed to Charles of Castile (future Charles I/V of Spain and Holy Roman Empire) but as relationships between Henry and his father-in-law and Charles’ grandfather Ferdinand of Aragon and Emperor Maximilian turn sour, the betrothal is broken, much to Mary’s happiness. However her happiness is short lived as she is soon betrothed to the aging king of France, Louis XII, a man some 40 years her senior. Mary is outraged at the idea of leaving her country, her brother and the man she truly loves.
I thoroughly enjoyed Plaidy’s novel about one of the lesser known members of the Tudor family. Like “The Thistle and the Thorne” Plaidy focuses the story on the female Tudors and paints a beautiful picture of the trials and tribulations of the life of a princess during that era. I really enjoyed how Plaidy included the background stories of all characters involved – Charles Brandon; Louis XII; Francois, le Dauphin and of course, the Tudor family. I feel that these background stories gave the story more depth and greater character development. They definitely added to the story and did not take anything away from the story of Mary’s life.
I can honestly say that I am thrilled that Plaidy’s novels are being republished and I cannot wait to collect them all!