Book Review “The Virgin Queen’s Daughter” Ella March Chase

synopsis

In her sweeping historical debut, Ella March Chase explores a thrilling possibility: that the Tudor bloodline did not end with the Virgin Queen. As captivating now as it was more than four centuries ago, the reign of Elizabeth I—with its scandal, intrigue, and resilience—has sparked the imaginations of generations. 

Tucked away in the country estate of her beloved father, Lord Calverley, young Nell de Lacey feeds her hungry mind with philosophy, language, and studies of science. Her mother, once a devoted lady-in-waiting to Henry VIII’s last wife, Katherine Parr, would rather her daughter stop dabbling in the grand affairs of men and instead prepare for her eventual duties as a wife. She knows all too well what menace lurks in royal courts.

But Nell’s heart yearns for something more, and a chance meeting with Princess Elizabeth, then a prisoner of the Tower of London, pushes her closer toward finding it. Now, years later, Nell’s chance arrives when she is summoned to serve as a lady-in-waiting to the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth. Nell is entranced by the splendor and pageantry of royal life, unaware of the danger and deception that swirls around the monarch and her courtiers.

But a lingering rumor about nine unaccounted for months in the Virgin Queen’s past reignites when the flame-haired Nell—a mirror image of Her Majesty both physically and intellectually—arrives at court. Quickly she catches the eye not only of the cunning Elizabeth, but of those who would see the queen fail. With strong evidence to connect Elizabeth to her newest maid of honor and the politics of England in turmoil, the truth could send Nell and those she loves to the Tower to join in the wretched fates of those who’ve gone before her.

Engrossing and enlightening, The Virgin Queen’s Daughter brings to life one of the greatest mysteries of one of the greatest monarchs. Ella March Chase’s vivid storytelling gives due credence to a daughter who might have been and a mother who never was.

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First lines: Ramblings of a madwoman might be deadly. The same words, spoken in sanity: treason. This truth I have discovered to my woe. Yet, imprisoned within my cell, I find it hard to discern the difference. 

“The Virgin Queen’s Daughter” was a whirlwind of intrigue, romance, and paranoia. Beginning to end this book is suspense defined. 

The Tudor family has always fascinated me. I’m sure that statement can be made for many. Their line is full of mystery and madness. The Tudors were well known for their intense mood changes and paranoia. Living in the same conditions, I can’t say that most would feel differently. Every person you meet could be plotting your murder and overthrowing your rule as they dance with you and ploy you with compliments.

It’s amazing that this is a debut novel. This book ranks, in my opinion, with historical fiction giants like Philippa Gregory and Alsion Weir.  I am now adding Chase to my list of favorites for this genre.

The idea that The Virgin Queen wasn’t a virgin at all and may possibly of had a child has been hotly debated for many years. I’m sure this will continue to be debated unless by some miracle evidence is found that solves the matter. Until then, it makes a fascinating point to speculate on.

I would like to say that Nell would of been an oddity of the time but I can’t help but wonder how many women were secretly learning like her without making it apparent. Any attention in those days could be deadly. 

I think that Chase has written the best tale of how that scenario would play out if it did, in fact, happen. I was hooked from page one and have added her to my Christmas list of books my husband should buy for me. 🙂

Absolute 5 star book!

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: The Virgin Queen’s Daughter  | Series:  N/A  |  Author(s):  Ella March Chase |Publisher: Three Rivers Press / Publication Date: 12-29-2009 |Pages: 357 (Print) | ISBN:  978-0307451125 |Genre(s): Historical Fiction |Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 9-29-2016 |Source: Copy from Library

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