Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

"Here's to the bright New Year, and a fond farewell to the old; here's to the things that are yet to come, and to the memories that we hold."

"Let us not drink to the past, but to the future."

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!
Best wishes for 2012


The Tudor Throne ~ Brandy Purdy

England’s throne is left in a precarious state after the death of King Henry VIII. His son is weak and not expected to live a long life and his daughters, Catholic Mary and Protestant Elizabeth, once declared bastards are once again legitimate heirs to the throne. Upon Edward’s death Mary must fight for her throne and her rightful place as Queen of England. Once Mary has won back her throne she is determined to bring England back to the true faith and to reunite her with Rome thus starting the reign of terror, the reign of Bloody Mary. Mary’s desire to marry Prince Phillip of Spain alienates her even further from her people. In response, the people of England turn to Elizabeth in hopes that she will ascend to the throne as their saviour. Mary soon becomes paranoid that Elizabeth is trying to take her throne and Mary is soon convinced that her beloved sister is her worst enemy. The sisters love for one another soon turns to ice in this Tudor drama.


“The Tudor Throne” is told from both Mary’s and Elizabeth’s point of view, each girl has her own chapter to voice her concerns, feelings and beliefs. Purdy focuses on both characters, but has their relationship take center stage many times throughout the novel. It was interesting to see how their struggles, triumphs and beliefs affected their relationship as sisters and their friendship. To see these points of view was a breath of fresh air from solely focusing on their individual reigns as Queens of England. Normally I am not a fan of novels that flip flop back and forth between characters but Purdy managed to do just this effortlessly without disrupting the flow of the story. The story was thoroughly researched and written in great detail. I did have one small issue with this novel and that was Mary—she just annoyed me! Overall however, it was decent read. 

The Wise Woman ~ Philippa Gregory

Set in Tudor England, this is the story of Alys, an orphan who was raised by the local wise woman until she leaves to join a nunnery in order to escape a life of poverty. When Henry VIII’s men burn the abbey down, Alys runs without looking back, leaving her adoptive mother and her sister’s in Christ to burn to their deaths. With nowhere else to go, Alys returns to the old wise woman who raised her. Alys begins to work alongside the old wise woman, horning her own skills as a wise woman herself. The old lord Hugh learns of her skills and requests that she comes to his castle to work as his nurse and later his scribe. With nothing to protect her except for her looks and her innate magic, Alys walks a fine and dangerous line between her faith and her own female powers. Alys soon finds herself falling in love with the old lord’s son Hugo, who happens to be already married to another woman. Alys decides to turn to dark magic to get what she wants—to defeat her rival and to win the man she loves but she soon finds out that magic makes a poor servant and a powerful and dangerous master. Alys soon finds herself in a precarious situation where heresy means the stake and witchcraft the rope.


I love Philippa Gregory’s work however this novel was . . .  well . . . interesting to say the least. It was a dark story with a good plot, twisted characters and extremely explicit sexual imagery. There were creepy boudoir scenes that really did not need the amount of detail they were given – definitely an uncomfortable read at times. I think that the words “love triangle” were a little tame, it was a creepy, twisted love triangle to say the least. As for the characters, they weren’t horrible but they weren’t amazing either. I am all for the bad girl type heroines but Alys takes the cake—she has got to be the most self-serving heroine out there, she would throw anyone, including her own mother, under the bus if it would save her own skin. Alys is portrayed as both the protagonist and the antagonist in the story but unfortunately she is not strong enough in either role. I also found that there were a lot of similarities between this story and the Tudor dramas: fathers with similar names (Hugh and Hugo versus the two Henrys); wives named Catherine/Katharine; mistresses named Anne/Sister Ann (Alys). Overall, it was decent book and if you can get past all of the sex then it is a great read. 

Happy Holidays!

Another Christmas has come and gone and once again my library grew!
Best Christmas gift this year: My new Kobo E-reader :)
New additions include:
- The Shadow of the Pomegranate by Jean Plaidy
- Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
- Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!


Born this day, December 3rd

King Charles VI of France (1368-1422)

Charles was born in Paris December 3rd 1368, son of Charles V and Joan of Bourbon and member of the House of Valois. Charles was crowned at Reims in 1380 at the age of 11 and in 1385 he married Isabeau of Bavaria. Charles was known as both Charles the Beloved (le Bien-Aimé) and later as Charles the Mad (le Fou) as he suffered from many bouts of psychosis in his adult life. Charles’ daughter Catherine married Henry V of England and mother to Henry VI of England who inherited his grandfather’s psychosis.