Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Book Review: Elizabeth and the Prince of Spain by Margaret Irwin

Elizabeth and the Prince of Spain by Margaret Irwin
Publish Date: April 2011
Format: Paperback pp

Synopsis (From the Publisher):
"Philip, prince of Spain, the unwilling bridegroom of Queen Mary, has been warned about the queen’s half sister, Elizabeth. According to all reports, she is a heretic, a rebel, and a potential enemy, and had a “spirit full of enchantment.” Philip is immediately intrigued. Idolized by his aging wife, Philip holds the power to save the young princess, who has been accused of treachery by Mary and is under threat of death. The brilliant Elizabeth must walk the razor-thin line between Bloody Mary’s jealousy and Philip’s uneasy ardor."

My Review:

After reading the second book in this trilogy, Elizabeth Captive Princess (my review), and finding it to be quite good, I was eager to read this final installment, but unfortunately my expectations were a bit too high. Unlike Elizabeth Captive Princess, I found it hard to completely immerse myself in this novel; the characters were distant and there were times when it became confusing who was narrating the story (Elizabeth, Phillip or Mary). I was surprised that this book veered away from the rest of the trilogies focus on Elizabeth. While Elizabeth was indeed a main character, we did not hear much about her until a third of the way through the novel and even after that she was greatly overshadowed by Phillip.

Now despite these issues, I did appreciate the vantage point on Elizabeth's life, for it's not often one finds Phillip of Spain as a main character. Before reading this Phillip of Spain was merely a name in the history books, now he has become a more prominent figure in the relationship between these two sisters.

Overall this was a quick and easy read and one that, if nothing else, will pique your curiosity about who Phillip of Spain really was. If you are looking for a book about Elizabeth I's relationship with her sister Mary I would suggest reading the previous book in the series and forgoing this one, but, if you are looking for a novel that focuses on Philip of Spain and the political intrigue he brought to Mary's court, then by all means this book will suit you well.

Copyright © 2011 Svea Love. All Rights Reserved.
FTC: I received this book from the publisher. As always, these are my own honest opinions.