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The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary,…

The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary, Queen of Scots (Young Royals)

by Carolyn Meyer

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Such a fascinating character from history!! And such a well done book to introduce her to audiences!! Well done :) ( )
  pickleroad | Nov 10, 2016 |
  Rachael_Reads | Jun 12, 2015 |
Apparently, there's this big world of Carolyn Meyer YA-style historical novels that I've never really known about. I guess I should, considering that I enjoy historical fiction and some YA novels so much, but for some reason I never really knew about these books, and after looking at Meyer's rather long line of bio-historicals surrounding women in history, it seems that this began as a more child-oriented approach but, with the popularity of Philippa Gregory and other historical fiction, it grew into YA historical fiction -or, something like that.

Thus, The Wild Queen was my first introduction to Carolyn Meyer. The Wild Queen chronicles the life of Mary, Queen of Scots who, interestingly, seems to only get scene time (or, book time) in relationship with her nearly 20-year imprisonment by Queen Elizabeth I. In fact, I'd say that I knew every little about Mary's earlier years before picking up this book.

At the age of five, Mary was left as the only surviving heir to the Scottish throne. Fearing for her life (and to secure an advantageous marriage to the Dauphin), Mary is sent off to France. Though she later marries the Dauphin, he unexpectedly dies, and Mary is left to pick up the pieces of her life -and the complex politics that comes with her inheritance. Using little but her own strength and power, Mary must secure her way to the Scottish throne among turmoil, religion and political intrigue -along with her distant claim to the throne of England and uncertain friendship with her cousin Queen Elizabeth I.

I wasn't really expecting much from this book, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The writing here is very solid, straightforward and incredibly quick and easy to read. And the research is surprisingly solid and accurate, but yet with enough unique intrigue to keep readers interested (even if they already know Mary's story). I was especially impressed with how Meyer handled the politics and how she portrayed a strong female character triumphing over -and being a victim of -these politics. Honestly, this almost read as an adult historical fiction novel because it became so sophisticated and strong (worthy of The Other Boleyn Girl crowd).

Yet, what kept it distinctly YA is how Meyer glossed over some of the more horrible (and adult) happenings in Mary's life. I was glad, at least, that she didn't completely leave them out (as they are an important part of Mary's story), but glossed over enough to keep it fairly clean (compared to the adult novels in the genre). After having read so many of those adult novels, I actually found this to be very refreshing and much more readable. Most importantly, Mary's story isn't about romance, it's about a strong young royal trying to survive the wild world that she's been born into.

The Wild Queen isn't an innovative book, but an incredibly solid entry into the YA historical fiction genre. I'd recommend it for history nerds (such as myself) who like their stories a little bit cleaner. Very polished, very clean and very entertaining. I'll have to pick up some of Meyer's other novels now. ( )
  BookAddictDiary | Apr 28, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0152061886, Hardcover)

Mary Stuart was just five years old when she was sent to France to be raised alongside
her future husband. But when the frail young king dies, eighteen-year-old Mary is
stripped of her title as Queen of France and set adrift in the harsh world, alone.
Determined to reign over what is rightfully hers, Mary returns to Scotland. Hoping
that a husband will help her secure the coveted English throne, she marries again,
but the love and security she longs for elude her. Instead, the fiery young queen finds
herself embroiled in a murder scandal that could cost her the crown. And her attempts
to bargain with her formidable “sister queen,” Elizabeth I of England, could cost her
her very life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:28 -0400)

Convicted of plotting against her cousin Queen Elizabeth I of England and awaiting execution in 1587, Mary Stuart, queen of Scotland, recounts her life story, including becoming a widow at age eighteen and her brutal campaign to regain her sovereignty after being stripped of her throne.… (more)

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