Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Beginnings of Bloody Mary

Mary, Bloody Mary by Carolyn Meyer

Summary: The story of Mary Tudor’s childhood is a classic fairy tale: A princess who is to inherit the throne of England is separated from her mother; abused by an evil stepmother who has enchanted her father; stripped of her title; and forced to care for her baby stepsister, who inherits Mary’s rights to the throne. Believe it or not, it’s all true. Told in the voice of the young Mary, this novel explores the history and intrigue of the dramatic rule of Henry VIII, his outrageous affair with and marriage to the bewitching Anne Boleyn, and the consequences of that relationship for his firstborn daughter. Carolyn Meyer has written a compassionate historical novel about love and loss, jealousy and fear--and a girl’s struggle with forces far beyond her control.

Review: A good introduction to the Tudors and an enjoyable story of Mary's formative years.

Since this book is written for young adults, Mary is portrayed very much like a child and teenager throughout the book. I cannot picture her acting like she did at many points throughout the book, but it does make sense for a young adult book. Mary is portrayed as a very innocent, very good person. As a few reviewers have mentioned, it is hard to reconcile the Mary in the book to Mary as queen. It does show how the uncertainty in her early life and how she was treated would affect her as an adult. 

This book covers a lot of time and skimps on a number of important events. It also leaves out much of Mary's religious beliefs and convictions, which were a big part of what made her become Bloody Mary. I remember a few mentions of going to Mass. Religion would have been a huge part of her life and it should have played a bigger role. The other characters in the book were quite one dimensional and did not play much of a role in the story. I plan on reading the other books in the series.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy historical fiction, young adult historical fiction, or the Tudors. 

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