1587 England, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, a young maiden enters the Queen’s court. It completely changes her life. It is the life every young girl dreams of, living at the court of the Queen. But it is not a fairy tale life.
Emilia has a nice place to live and is cared for by the queen’s court, but she no longer controls her life. The queen does. All the Ladies in Waiting must honor the queen’s desires for her life and theirs. For Emilia, this means becoming the mistress to an older man who has the Queen’s ear. All live in fear of the Queen and the power she wields. It could mean forever happiness or death.
Emilia is cared for by Lady Margaret while at court, and becomes close to her. When Emilia becomes pregnant the queen decides she will marry and choses a husband from those close to her, without considering Emilia’s feelings. This is not a happy union, but both parties know it is the Queen’s wishes. Emilia is introduced to William Shakespear while in the Queen’s court and there is a mutual attraction, but again this is tempered by the Queen. All decisions of those at court are made by the Queen.
The story was well told and easy to follow. The author was careful to include historiacl inforation and weave some fiction in where there was a lack of actual facts. While the historical information of the time period is unsettling, I was disappointed by the lack of Christian values protrayed by the characters, given the publisher. There was a lack of respect for marriage and sex outside of marriage. This is a topic I would have thought more suited for a secular publisher.
Book will be released soon, and if you are a fan of this time period or Shakespear, it is the book for you.
Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Readers Copy from Summerside Press to review. All opionons expressed are my own.