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.


Elaine Dalton said...

This looks like an interesting book. I'll have to look into it. Great review! ;)

Carole Rae said...

It's so hard to be completely biased when reading a book! Especially having read a previous one from the author. I try not to go into a book with expectations, but we are human and we tend to. Like the book I just read and reviewed...I went in with high expectations and was let down. Great review!

Svea Love said...

Thank you for the compliment; I am greatly pleased you enjoyed my review!

Elaine- Let me know if you read it, I would love to see what you thought :)

Carole- I know what you mean! It seems harder not to have certain expectations while reading a series, but I do think my opinion would have been about the same even without reading the previous book.

Thankfully we do not let one opinion of a book dictate whether we read more of that authors work. I found this out just yesterday when I finished a novel I am about to review. Having read a previous novel from a particular author and thinking it to be quite mundane, I was curious how her writing style would be in her other work, so I picked up another, and I am pleased to say that it quickly became one of my favorite reads for 2011!

I hope you enjoy your next book :)

Jenny Q said...

I read Jean Plaidy's novel about Philip last year and enjoyed the portrait of his life. Thanks for stopping by today :)