Ok, you know how I’m always going on and on about how P. Greg can do no wrong in my books, and how I am 100% in her court even when I know she’s writing total garbage? My babies, she completely phoned it in on this one.
Either she’s getting to that level of awesome where people are afraid to edit her, or she knows that none of us really care anymore JUST BRING ON THE TUDORS!!! But I care, Phil. I care about sentences like this: ‘…I shall honour her sacrifice and pass it on to my heir, my son, her grandson, my little boy, James, Prince James, heir to Scotland and to England, my precious son.’ That’s, like, eight people!
Or this: ‘Dear God, I have to be free. I am a woman who has to be free. I would rather die than not be free. It is true: I would rather die than not be free.’ So you would…I’m sorry, I’m not totally clear on this. Once more, with feeling?
But in her favor (and this is always in her favor, as long as she keeps milking that 16th century cow [or flogging that 16th century horse, depending on your level of tolerance for intrigue and flashing eyes]), this is Mary, Queen of Scots! Crowned Queen of Scotland at nine months old! Married the future King of France at 18! Was widowed two years later! Married her cousin and then (allegedly) HAD HIM BLOWN UP (!!) and then MARRIED THE MAN WHO (ALLEGEDLY) BLEW HIM UP!!! And then had to flee Scotland on horseback eleven months pregnant with TWINS and all this before page one.
So now she’s in England under
lock and key the care of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth, who has lodged her with the earl of Shrewsbury and his wife. Because Gregory is who she is, one of these two will fall in love with the queen and one will loathe her (you get to guess!) and there is a great deal of silk and taffeta and sweeping regally from room to room.
Each successive chapter is narrated by M,QoS or the earl, or the earless (earline? Earlette?) and I think PG uses this ploy to make navel-gazing look like plot movement (see: two quotes above. Now imagine whole chapters of that). And you know that if someone begins one of the Other Virgin Boleyn Queen Lover novels relishing a Thing (be it land, good standing, treasure, or a pretty neck), that they will have lost that Thing before the curtain falls.
And all this endless narcissm = so much telling! And then the earl and his wife will get into an argument and there will be all kinds of dialogue which, if not exactly snappy, is at least SOMETHNG HAPPENING!! And then more telling. It gets a bit boring-diary-reading.
‘Lippa, my love, you know I won’t break up with you over one bad book. This is just an opportunity for our relationship to grow. Maybe we’ve been spending too much time together, which is as much my fault as yours. But I will have to take back all those nice things I said about you learning not to repeat yourself quite so much.
Five caterpillars. This pains me.