Beware, Princess Elizabeth by Carolyn Meyer

(Cover picture courtesy of Historicalfictions Wiki.)

Elizabeth Tudor’s teenage years are hardly those of a fairy-tale rpincess.

Her father, Henry VIII, has beheaded her mother; her jealous half sister, Mary, has her locked away in the Tower of London; and her only love betrays her in his own quest for the throne.

Told in the voice of the young Elizabeth, this exciting novel reveals the deep-seated rivalry between a determined girl who became one of England’s most powerful monarchs and the sister who tried everything to stop her.

Queen Elizabeth I is famous for being one of England’s most powerful monarchs ever, even though she reigned in a man’s era.  But what do you really know about her, especially about her formative teen years?  Well, after reading Beware, Princess Elizabeth you’ll definitely know why Elizabeth became such a powerful, influential ruler.

Unlike her older sister Mary, Elizabeth does not really remember a time when she was the favourite at court.  She is first overshadowed by her boy-king brother upon her father’s death, then imprisoned during the tumultuous reign of her older half sister.  She spends much of her young adulthood as the forgotten, ill-favoured bastard daughter of King Henry VIII and his hated second wife Anne Boleyn.  Readers will sympathize with her as she struggles through religious reforms, a jealous half sister and broken dreams of love.

Carolyn Meyer takes readers on a wonderful journey through Tudor England, being historically accurate and entertaining at the same time.  With a relatively fast-paced plot and well developed characters, this is a fitting addition to the enormous volume of literature on Elizabeth I.  You will be able to see the woman behind the legend and that is one of the best parts of historical fiction.

I give this book 4/5 stars.

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