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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Book Review: The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory

Happy Holidays everyone! I will be away until Sunday immersed in the Christmas festivities with my boyfriend's and my families. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas tomorrow! I thought. I would leave you with a review of one of my favorite Philippa Gregory books.

The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory
Book 5 in the Tudor Court series
Paperback, 504 pages
February 3, 2004
★★★★ ½☆
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Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Personal Collection

A young woman caught in the rivalry between Queen Mary and her half sister, Elizabeth, must find her true destiny amid treason, poisonous rivalries, loss of faith, and unrequited love.
It is winter, 1553. Pursued by the Inquisition, Hannah Green, a fourteen-year-old Jewish girl, is forced to flee Spain with her father. But Hannah is no ordinary refugee. Her gift of "Sight," the ability to foresee the future, is priceless in the troubled times of the Tudor court. Hannah is adopted by the glamorous Robert Dudley, the charismatic son of King Edward's protector, who brings her to court as a "holy fool" for Queen Mary and, ultimately, Queen Elizabeth. Hired as a fool but working as a spy; promised in wedlock but in love with her master; endangered by the laws against heresy, treason, and witchcraft, Hannah must choose between the safe life of a commoner and the dangerous intrigues of the royal family that are inextricably bound up in her own yearnings and desires. 
Teeming with vibrant period detail and peopled by characters seamlessly woven into the sweeping tapestry of history, The Queen's Fool is another rich and emotionally resonant gem from this wonderful storyteller.
Hannah Green is the daughter of a Jewish book maker living in London. While trying to keep a low profile, Hannah tells the young King Edward that she sees golden gates behind him and he declares that she should be his holy fool. Hannah is quickly thrown into the world of court politics. She becomes enamored with Lord Robert Dudley, her protector at court, and at the same time is betrothed to Daniel Carpenter. She is constantly in conflict – torn between Elizabeth and Mary, Robert and Daniel, her religious beliefs and her safety, among others. Hannah must make crucial decisions that will affect her life as well as those around her as she moves through the courtly inner circles.

Hannah Green is a fictional character living in the Tudor period and interacting with very real characters. This is the first book in the Tudor series of books that I have read where the narrator is not a real historical character. I really enjoyed this though. I loved how Hannah has a conscience and we get to watch her grow up over the years that take place in this novel. She starts out as someone who is controlled pretty easily and over time develops her own sense of self and decides what she really wants out of life. I really enjoyed the love story that developed throughout. Hannah is not one dimensional - she handles conflict and wavers back and forth in what she should do. I really connected with Hannah and I think that having a fictional character weave her way through the historical courts allowed the reader to see the world from an outsider’s perspective.

One thing that I enjoyed about this novel is that Hannah lived in the courts of Edward, Mary and Elizabeth Tudor. I hadn’t read any fiction that really included Edward at all. It was interesting to see him interacting with Hannah and then see what happened after he died. You also had the opportunity to see how things changed at time moved on.

Another great read from Philippa Gregory.
Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Also by Philippa Gregory:
Philippa Gregory has written many books, among those included in the Tudor Court series are:
the constant princess
The Constant Princess (Book 1)
[My Review]
the other boleyn girl
The Other Boleyn Girl (Book 2)
The Boleyn Inheritance
The Boleyn Inheritance (Book 3)
Taming of the Queen
The Taming of the Queen (Book 4)
the virgin's lover
The Virgin's Lover (Book 6)
the other queen
The Other Queen (Book 7)

Other Philippa Gregory books I have reviewed:

Find Philippa Gregory: Website | Facebook | Twitter |Youtube


Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I read this book a long time ago. I remember really enjoying it. Maybe I will have to read it again, b/c after reading your review I find that I don't remember it! lol I love it when I can do that.


  2. This is the first Philippa Gregory book I read, and I loved it. Definitely going to be rereading it.

  3. I wanted to read this one (It's been sitting around swtaring at me for a while...) I find it's nice to get away from the real hist. figures sometimes and plunge into the fiction. Great review - Thanks!
    Hey, enjoy the holidays Heather. I'm sending you warm wishes and huge hugs!!

  4. I read this book a long time ago also, and enjoyed it immensely. I liked that Hannah wasn't a historical figure. She was a commentater on the events around her. Gregory is one of my favs too :) Enjoy your holidays with the family.

  5. I love your blog sooo much. I'll call here often. Every happiness in the new year.
    Simone's now a courtier.


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