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The Queen's Bastard (The Inheritors' Cycle, Book 1) (original 2008; edition 2008)

by C.E. Murphy

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3131435,548 (3.09)12
Member:Katie.Loughlin
Title:The Queen's Bastard (The Inheritors' Cycle, Book 1)
Authors:C.E. Murphy
Info:Del Rey (2008), Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Renaissance Europe, historical, historical fiction, historical fantasy, fantasy, magic, court politics, alternative history, alternate history, The Inheritors' Cycle, The Inheritors' Cycle series, Inheritors' Cycle, Inheritors' Cycle series, series, series fiction, fiction, C.E. Murphy, CE Murphy, Murphy

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The Queen's Bastard by C. E. Murphy (2008)

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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
For the life of me I just couldn't get into the book. There were interesting bits but this book was just not for me. What I read was well written and the plot was interesting. I think this book is more for those who like twisty plots and quadruple the court intrigue one would find normally. ( )
  mariahsidhe | May 12, 2016 |
This book looks like a romance version of [b:The Assassin's Apprentice|45107|Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1)|Robin Hobb|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1170273738s/45107.jpg|171715]. It is set in a thinly veiled version of the late 16th century (pretty much the only difference are the names--the redheaded, married to her country, virgin queen of a misty island is named "Lorraine," for instance) and follows the hidden struggle for supremacy. The main character is the secret, bastard daughter of "Lorraine" and her spymaster. Belinda spends the entirety of the book manipulating, killing, and spying in the courts of Europe. I expected it to be total trash. Imagine my surprise when I found the main character to be surprisingly sensible and cool headed, impatient with her flashes of loneliness or sympathy.
After years of pretending to be various peasants (and how refreshing, to see a spy who hides her pride and takes any dirty job), Belinda is unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight when she catches the eye of a prince. While using him to get closer to his mother's papers, Belinda and Prince Javier come to a startling realization: they share a witchy power. Their relationship deepens, but staying in one, high profile place is dangerous for Belinda. Her various plots and personas accumulate and might be about to catch up with her...

Belinda is a particularly interesting character because of her troubled interaction with power. Having spent the first twenty-two years as unthinkingly obedient and subservient, it is a true reversal for Belinda to not only order her own servants, but to control the minds of those around her, as well. Her sexual appetites awaken, and she begins struggling to maintain a properly humble facade. I was intrigued by Murphey's gender politics (which are very much to the forefront of this book) and by the galloping pace of the plot. I read this in a single sitting. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
I had a bit of trouble getting into it at first, but, once I did, I rather enjoyed it. The names kept throwing me off a bit. Pronunciation, unfortunately, is often an issue when it comes to fantasy novels. Also, I kept trying to place them with their real world counterparts which was distracting. Thankfully, I mostly let it go by the second half and was finally able to lose myself in the story.

~3.5 stars ( )
  kjpmcgee | Sep 9, 2015 |
I wanted to like this, but a hundred pages in I'm just bored.
  jen.e.moore | Jun 20, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. E. Murphyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mollica,GeneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, DavidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wirth, MaryDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Queen's Bastard is for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.
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She wears sheepskin against the wind that shrieks around the cathedral walls.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
In a world where religion has ripped apart the old order, Belinda Primrose is the queen's secret weapon. The unacknowledged daughter of Lorraine, the first queen to sit on the Aulunian throne, Belinda has been trained as a spy since the age of twelve by her father, Lorraine's lover and spymaster.
Cunning and alluring, fluent in languages and able to take on any persona, Belinda can infiltrate the glittering courts of Echon, where her mother's enemies conspire. She can seduce at will and kill if she must. But Belinda's spying takes a new twist when her witchlight appears.
Now Belinda's powers are unlike anything Lorraine could have imagined. They can turn an obedient daughter into a rival who understands that anything can be hers, including the wickedly sensual Javier, whose throne Lorraine both covers and fears. But Javier is also witchbreed, a man whose ability rivals Belinda's own...and can be just as dangerous.
Amid court intrigue and magic, loyalty and love can lead to more daring passions, as Belinda discovers that power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345494644, Paperback)

“Wow. C. E. Murphy is good. Court intrigue in an alternate Elizabethan-era fantasy world: realpolitik with the sex included.”
–Kate Elliott, author of Crown of Stars

In a world where religion has ripped apart the old order, Belinda Primrose is the queen’s secret weapon. The unacknowledged daughter of Lorraine, the first queen to sit on the Aulunian throne, Belinda has been trained as a spy since the age of twelve by her father, Lorraine’s lover and spymaster.

Cunning and alluring, fluent in languages and able to take on any persona, Belinda can infiltrate the glittering courts of Echon where her mother’s enemies conspire. She can seduce at will and kill if she must. But Belinda’s spying takes a new twist when her witchlight appears.

Now Belinda’s powers are unlike anything Lorraine could have imagined. They can turn an obedient daughter into a rival who understands that anything can be hers, including the wickedly sensual Javier, whose throne Lorraine both covets and fears. But Javier is also witchbreed, a man whose ability rivals Belinda’s own . . . and can be just as dangerous.

Amid court intrigue and magic, loyalty and love can lead to more daring passions, as Belinda discovers that power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

“C. E. Murphy vividly reimagines Renaissance Europe as a world both familiar and strange. Filled with intrigue and betrayal, her story is a chess game with six of seven sides, and I look forward to seeing what the next moves are.”
–Marie Brennan, author of Warrior and Witch

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:21 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Hard-pressed by enemies all around her, Lorraine defends her right to sit on the Aulunian throne by enlisting her most valuable weapon, Belinda, the daughter she has never acknowledged and who has been trained since childhood as an assassin, but as Belinda infiltrates the inner circles of her mother's enemies, she discovers her own secret magical powers.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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