Showing posts with label Queen Elizabeth 1. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Queen Elizabeth 1. Show all posts

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Just Flesh and Blood

Just Flesh and Blood by Jane Caro (UQP) PB RRP $19.95 ISBN 978 0702260018

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Australian Jane Caro has won many national and international awards for her creative endeavours and has written numerous books including the prequels to this, her latest YA title in the Elizabeth 1 trilogy (Just a Girl and Just a Queen), both UQP titles.
In Just Flesh and Blood, she continues the life of Elizabeth, who endured a perilous childhood to take the throne as Queen of England. 

Now, four decades later, having withstood political upheavals, wars and plots against her life, she contemplates her successes and failures and ponders all she has relinquished – love, marriage and family – for power. As she is dying, Elizabeth recalls her first love, Robin Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester who was her playmate and became her master of horse on her accession. (Many consider he was her one true love.) There are many more memories which makes this a slow-moving book, not one bristling with action: after all, it is Elizabeth’s final chapter.

As with all books which are well-researched, the book contains a bibliography for those who want to read more about the great queen’s life and accomplishment. Also, very helpful at the end of the book, is its Cast of Characters, with, in order of appearance, the names and birth and death dates as well as a short potted history of those who appear in the book which begins with the death of Elizabeth’s mother, Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry V11, who was executed by him for treason and adultery.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

The Devil and his Boy

The Devil and his Boy by Anthony Horowitz (Walker Books)
PB RRP $12.95
ISBN 9781406357684
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Anthony Horowitz believes that teaching history to children has to be fun. In The Devil and his Boy, he has chosen the year 1593 and Queen Elizabeth 1 to prove that learning history can be an exciting adventure.

The Queen is sixty years old. She has secrets about her past that she wants answers to. The wizard, John Dee, is the only one that can give them to her.

Tom Falconer, a thirteen year old orphan, is a slave to a heartless couple. When the stranger, Sir William Hawkins comes to take him away, he has nothing to lose. Things go wrong and Hawkins is murdered by Ratsey, a notorious highway man. Tom escapes towards London, and is saved from death by the thief Moll Cutpurse.

These main characters’ lives are twisted together in a thrilling mystery that involves Tom’s real identity. The story includes the young William Shakespeare, the Rose Theatre, and a troupe of mysterious actors who are not what they seem. All this is plaited in with conspiracy and betrayal in the Queen’s court.

I sped through this terrific mystery novel. Readers of all ages will learn a vast amount about early England, people’s way of life and early death, poverty, and how orphans were used and abused by unscrupulous people cloaked as protectors, to make money.

Fast-paced and absorbing, the talented Horowitz has made history interesting and entertaining just as he set out to do.