Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Spy for the Queen of Scots” as Want to Read:
Spy for the Queen of Scots
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Spy for the Queen of Scots

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  237 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
As lady-in-waiting to Mary, Queen of Scots, the beautiful Ginette—known as Jenny—is the young queen’s closest childhood friend. Growing up in the elegant but ruthless French court, surrounded by enemies and traitors—not least the jealous, manipulative Catherine de Medici, and Mary’s own scheming half-brother, James—Jenny has always been fiercely loyal to her mistress. But ...more
Hardcover, 412 pages
Published August 2nd 2012 by Doubleday
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Spy for the Queen of Scots, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Spy for the Queen of Scots

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversScarlet by A.C. GaughenCode Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinClockwork Prince by Cassandra ClareThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
YA Historical Fiction 2012
62nd out of 126 books — 809 voters
What Happens Next by Colleen ClaytonThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenEasy by Tammara WebberTiger Lily by Jodi Lynn AndersonHopeless by Colleen Hoover
Stand Alone Must Reads of 2012
34th out of 77 books — 150 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 02, 2014 Natalie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Refreshing to read about a different version of mary queen of scots. I love anything to do with this time period and I liked that the author sympathised with Mary. I know quite a bit about this time period but not much about Mary queen of Scots except for the negative's about her. So found this a very interesting read filled to the brim with history and for the YA audience a romance. Definatly a good book if you want a look into this time period. Will definatly check out more from this author.
Dec 21, 2012 Emma rated it it was ok
Shelves: guest-reviews
Review by Shelly

“Jenny, close friend and companion of Mary, Queen of Scots, has grown up at the French royal court – a place of ruthless ambition, intrigue and deceit. When Jenny overhears a whispered plot, and several mysterious deaths take place, she turns spy for Mary.”

Now I love a good historical novel and was really looking forward to this one as I don't know too much about Mary Queen of Scots. The story starts with a prologue of Mary facing her execution and then transports you back 29 yea
Aug 17, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
I’ve always been fascinated by Mary, the last Queen of Scots so I was intrigued to read this historical fiction of most of her life. It’s divided into two parts, the first one takes place in her youth when she lives in France and the second part is her life in Scotland when she returns to take her throne after the death of her widowed mother. The first part was very interesting to me, because although I know to take everything in a historical fiction like this with a grain of salt, it was still ...more
May 05, 2016 Salima rated it really liked it
If you're into Historical YA, I would definitely give this book a read. It features a likeable main protagonist, Jenny, who throws herself in danger to protect her friend and Queen, Mary - acting as a spy and snooping around the castle. There is also a sub-plot arousing the mystery of Jenny's friend and love-interest, Duncan, who is literally the definition of suspicious.

The context was woven in so well into the story - all of the details historically and socially. It's fascinating to see the c
Tamsin Delaney
Jan 04, 2015 Tamsin Delaney rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely amazing! Ever since I started watching the TV show Reign, I've become very interested in the time period of Mary Stuart and this was a new, fresh take on it which I really loved. The politics were easy to follow and the romantic interest was very slow burn but it was SO worth it in the end. The writing style was beautiful, I found it really easy to visualise everything that was happening on each page, from the location to what the characters were wearing. The writing ...more
Kim (The Book Sanctuary)
Friends, beware; the ending in this book is so downright shitty you'll probably cry blood if you read this.

IF, you read this.

Review to come
Cass -  Words on Paper
Yay! Another time period and place I know NOTHING about. :)
Oct 22, 2016 Laurena-Alexis rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNFed. This book is just a really, really hard book to read. I don't know if it's the pace, or the excessive use of exclamation marks, but it is really hard to read! Full review will be posted at https://theimmortalreaders.wordpress...., sometime this week.
Sep 19, 2016 Abi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first genre that I ever really got into is historical fiction and that is a genre that I continue to go back to, even now. I’ve actually already read this book but, as I was suffering from severe Reign withdrawal, I decided to dive back into the world of Mary, Queen of Scots but with some different characters and something that was slightly more historically accurate. It was actually very interesting to read this book after watching Reign because now I can see all the links and connections ...more
Elizabeth Gordon
Oct 12, 2016 Elizabeth Gordon rated it it was amazing
Aug 28, 2012 Sophie rated it liked it
Shelves: for-review, arc, uk-author
*3.5 stars*

When it comes to historical fiction and me, we don’t always gel, but I always try to give it a go. Even though I didn’t fall in love with Spy for the Queen of Scots, I’m glad I read it.

Right from the get go Spy for the Queen of Scots is highly political, exactly like the time during which Mary lived. Politics is one of those things that I’ve really known about or been that interested in, but with the history and the lovable characters, I was easily able to just go along with it. I thi
Long live the daughter of James the Fifth, rightfull heir to the trhone of Scotland

This is a good book, that's for sure. "Spy for the queen of Scots" is a good historical fiction, and those who want to know the story of Mary Stuart would fine a good source of infomation in this book, buuut I'm a big fan of the scottish history (and, England and Irland), so I knew a lot about Mary Stuart before reading these book. Soooo I didn't fine anything new in the story, it didn't contain any curious thin
Rachel Shedden
Aug 01, 2013 Rachel Shedden rated it liked it
More of my reviews can be found on my blog, Booktastic Reviews. :)

My past experience with historical fiction has been... well, not so good. That's why I'd made it a rule to never pick up another historical book. But then this one came through the post. It wasn't expected. I put it aside, dismissing it - doubting it would be something I'd like... Then, surprising myself, I ended up picking it up. I don't know what came over me but, suddenly, I just wanted to give it a chance. And I'm glad I did.
Bryony Full-Time-Nerd
At school, we never really covered Mary Queen of Scots. I'm English, so naturally my history teachers never really delved into Scottish affairs when covering the Tudors, it was just sort of a 'Yeah and Elizabeth thought that Mary might be a threat and had her executed, now moving on...'

So for me, this book was totally fascinating. I had only read about the end of Mary's life in forgotten paragraphs in the corners of yellowing textbook pages, so I was easily drawn in to the tangles of the French
Rebekah Rochester
Great historical read: packed with information, yet most of the characters (main ones at least) really seem like humans. There's a sprinkling of humour here and there to keep things humane and there's a nice love story which builds throughout the book. At times you really fear for Jenny and Mary's lives as the brutal Tudor world is brought to life. For me, though, this book really dragged. Four hundred pages seemed like way too many (I have read books over 900 pages long before - it is the ...more
Feb 21, 2014 Kerenza rated it really liked it
This is a historical fiction and I was pleasantly surprised about how much I enjoyed the novel. Throughout the book, I worried for the life of Mary, Queen of Scots and Lady Ginette also known as Jenny. Jenny is the main character and is written in first person to show her perspective on certain aspects of this book. This novel charts the life of the famous Queen of Scots.

My one fault with this book is that there was little about the uprising and rebellion against Mary and there was nothing of h
Nov 28, 2013 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually have a good few feelings about this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and I actually managed to read the whole thing without it feeling like a chore. I feel like historical fiction can definitely be a drag, however the way this book was written really enveloped me. I enjoyed meeting, and getting familiar with the characters, and I was made to feel connected to some and begin to heavily dislike others. It gave a good insight into the politics behind the Queen of Scots, while ...more
Dec 10, 2014 A.Foulds rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hist-fict, ya-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hasini (Ink On Paper)

When I got ahold of this book, I honestly didn't think I'll be a 100% into it, but surprise surprise, I was hooked from the beginning!

I loved the politics, scandals and scheming in this! The main thing I loved though, was the romance between Ginette and Duncan! I was rooting for them from the beginning and I'm ecstatic with how they ended up! My one disappointment though was that there wasn't much about what life was like for Ginette and Duncan once they go
Alannah Clarke
Jun 23, 2013 Alannah Clarke rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I absolutely love historical fiction but I have never read anything on Mary, Queen of Scots. I found this to be a very interesting piece of literature. I thought the book was well written, however I had a couple of problems keeping up with the characters as there were so many, I felt I could not get to know who each character really was but I could not fault the author as there were probably that many people involved in Mary's story.

I don't know much about Mary, Queen of Scots but this book has
Apr 23, 2015 Corinne rated it liked it
I really loved this book. It was so good, I loved how it was in two parts and how it made clear that Mary Queen of Scots was a woman who had a lot of difficulties in her life. Her first husband dead, along with her second, miscarriage of twins and her third husband a cruel man.

But through all this her maid Jenny remains close to her and supports her even while she has personal problems.

I love this book and I would recommend it to many people.
Jenna Coyne
Apr 24, 2016 Jenna Coyne rated it really liked it
I picked this book up when I was in edinburgh in a charity shop and thought I would give it a go as love the tudor period. I started reading it a week after I had been to Edinburgh and while I was there I had been to the castle and holyrood so while reading the book I could imagine being back at the places.

I enjoyed the book and author has done her research which I liked. Loved the twist in end think bits went on a bit but did finish book in 3 days. I would read this author again.
Dec 16, 2012 Deborah rated it really liked it
Was a good book though found it was focusing on the battle between the scots lords rather than the main charecter this was my only problem with this book. i don't know how accurate the history in the book is as i haven't study the story of mary but either way it was done well to put a fictional charecter into history.
Ella Tobin
Dec 26, 2013 Ella Tobin rated it it was amazing
I really like History and to find a History related book that was actually very interesting was a dream come true. It was a joy to read and i'm glad it still kept true to the real life events surrounding Mary, Queen of Scots. I would definitely recommend this book and other books by Theresa Breslin.
Oct 12, 2015 Selien rated it did not like it
Ok ik geef het op. De kans dat dit boek ooit uit geraakt is dicht bij 0%. Ik weet niet wat het is met dit boek maar ik raak er gewoon niet in vooruit. Het is geen slecht boek maar toch... Ik vind het deels wel jammer want ik keek er echt naar uit om dit boek te lezen.
Apr 12, 2016 Sarah added it
Shelves: own
We actually didn't finish this - neither of us loved it and sadly now that Elise is in high school, she reads her own books, on her own time, which is usually well past my bedtime! We do pass books back and forth, so we are still sharing books, just not reading them together.
Sep 23, 2013 Victoria rated it it was amazing
I loved this book from beginig till end.
I dont normally like historical fiction but this book (and code name verity) really griped me.
the story line was excellent and it will really help me with my studies this year
Mar 30, 2016 Ginny rated it really liked it
Super enjoyable read and a perspective of Mary Queen of Scots which I haven't read. I liked that the author didn't depict her as evil or stupid but rather unprepared for the huge challenges she was facing.
Sep 16, 2015 Kulsum rated it it was amazing
This book is definitely one of my favourites whether or not it is completely historically accurate. I like how this book follows Queen Mary's life but through the eyes of her best friend Jenny as it adds an interesting perspective to an otherwise well known story.
Jul 03, 2016 SparksSky122 rated it it was amazing
No matter how many times, I read this, I can't get bored. A perfect book that you want to reread after finishing it. I just wish there was a squeal!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 16, 2015 11:03AM  
  • The Girl in the Mask
  • Ladies in Waiting
  • The Queen's Lady (The Lacey Chronicles, #2)
  • Emerald
  • Debutantes (Debutantes, #1)
  • Witchstruck (The Tudor Witch Trilogy, #1)
  • Violins of Autumn
  • Victoria Rebels
  • Velvet
  • Just a Girl
  • The Queen's Daughter
  • Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart, #1)
  • The Fall of the Blade: A Girl's French Revolution Diary 1792-1794
  • Rabenlady
  • To Kill a Queen: An Elizabethan Girl's Diary 1583 -1586
  • Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor, #1)
  • In the Shadow of the Lamp
  • The Double Shadow
Theresa Breslin was born and brought up in Kirkintilloch, a small town in central Scotland. She is the recipient of the Carnegie Medal, Britain's most prestigious children's book award, for Whispers in the Graveyard, and her books for young people receive critical acclaim and appear regularly on children's book award short lists in the United Kingdom. A longtime librarian, Breslin was awarded ...more
More about Theresa Breslin...

Share This Book