The Queen’s secret

Title: The Queen’s secret
Author: Victoria Lamb
Publisher: Bantam Press
ISBN: 9780593067994
Out now!

The Earl of Leicester wants to marry Elizabeth I, Queen of England. He knows that it is his last chance to persuade her when the Queen stays at Kenilworth during the summer of 1575.
Meanwhile, he has fallen in love with the Earl of Essex and whispers of their relationship start spreading through the court. This reduces his chances that he will be able to marry Elizabeth.

Leicester employs Lucy Shaw, a young black singer and court entertainer, to bring his messages to the Earl of Essex, to hide their affair. But Lucy is also employed by the queen to spy on the couple and this makes it very difficult for her. She doesn’t know if she has to lie or tell the truth.
While spying, she reveals some very dangerous secrets. The Queen is in danger and she’s not the only one. Lucy may be may be killed too…

This is an astonishing novel about love and power in the court of Elizabeth I.

When I began reading, I wasn’t convinced yet that I would like this book. The setting of time and place took too long for me, but after the first hundred pages, it became a real page-turner!
I loved the characters and especially Lucy, the black singer. She was discriminated, but she held her head up high.
I also see how hard it would have been to be a women in the 16th century. Lettice, the Earl of Essex was unhappy married and has an affair with the Earl of Leicester, but she hadn’t any certainty it would last.
All these information is really interesting and I think that it is the reason why I love historical fiction. This is a story about facts mixed with the fantasy of the author and this makes it more interesting than an ordinary non-fiction book! But it has a downside as well, because often I don’t know anymore what happened in the past and what not.

I was really curious whether the Queen would marry the Earl of Leicester or not and since I don’t know the history of the royal family of England, it stayed a secret until the last pages.
I really wanted to know how the story would end and I couldn’t put it down. Even in the last chapter happened something amazing which made the story even more perfect to me.
The spying of Goodluck, Lucy’s guardian, was exciting and I loved the alternation between conversation and action. 

A fantastic story, which takes a slow start, but goes faster near the end! Love it!
4 stars

by Katrien

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