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Preview — Legacy by Susan Kay
The much-praised Legacy offers an exquisite psychological portrait of the Queen who defined an era, beloved and touted by readers for its stunning storytelling and intriguing take on the monarch's life. From the spectacular era that bears her name comes the mesmerizing story of Elizabeth I: her tragic childhood; her ruthless confrontations with Mary, Queen of Scots; and he...more
The author also has a wonderful way of describing the times, the scenes, the clothes, etc. The author's op ...more
I first read this book when I was in middle school. I borrowed it from the library, lost myself in the dangerous and glittering world of court intrigue and politics, and read it in a little over two sittings. It also happened to be that this was one of the last books I read before we moved to a different state. In that hectic time, I returned the book to the library almost as soon as I fin ...more
Susan Kay’s “Legacy” felt like two separate books (which could be argued as a lack of cohesive tact). The early chapters were much too disjointed with an overall look at events in Elizabeth’s early life (and th ...more
I don’t know if I’ll ever read any other novel set in this time period, but in any case I have this feeling that Legacy has forever altered my expectation of Tudor historical novels—that is to say, has ruined me forever for any other such novel—because if I didn’t have great expectations about them befor ...more
This is not a quick and breezy beach read by any stretch of the imagination, ...more
The prologue introduces Elizabeth as a troubled young princess, imprisoned in the Tower of London by her sister Mary and facing possible execution as a traitor:
She sat on a low stone window-seat, wrapped in a cloak against the creeping cold and, like the solitary stone pillar that support...more
The first third of the book, about her childhood and ascension to the throne, were very interesting. I knew how it would turn out, but s ...more
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.
Legacy is a historical fiction account of the life of Elizabeth I. From the beginnings of her parents relationship and her mother's execution, to Elizabeth's dismal childhood, and to her coronation and reign as Elizabeth I.
Legacy's intention is to portray a dimensional Elizabeth. A strong-willed and defiant personality, a passionate person, a desire to love and be loved, shrewd and resilient, savvy and intelligent.
Elizabeth's relationsh ...more
Coming into this book, I’d yet to read a definitive novel of Elizabeth’s life, something which seemed a bit of a mystery, as Elizabeth is one of the most well known figures of history. Having read Margaret George’s Elizabeth last year, I was impressed with the quality of writing and the vivid detail in which Elizabeth and her times were rendered, but I couldn’t help feeling a tiny bit disappointed that the novel only covered the autumn and winter of Elizabeth’s life, from the 1588 armada onwards ...more
Elizabeth wanted either war or executions. Once she secured the crown after surviving her sister's Mary's reign by the skin of her teeth, Elizabeth put the welfare of her subjects first. Like a mother, she was willing to lie, cheat and even execute (something she always hated to even think about) to secure th ...more
I bought this book thinking it would be more of a historical perspective on Queen Elizabeth but it is a novelization of her life. The book started out rough and I almost didn't continue. I stuck to it and I'm glad I did but I read it alternating between wanting it to end and not being able to put it down. In the end, I'm glad i finished it, but I could have done with about 150 fewer pages.
Kay presents the mercurial Elizabeth I, starting with the day of her mother's execution and ending with her death. The queen was politically shrewd, as we know from history books, but Kay presents a woman terrified of marriage because of her mother's (and stepmothers') deaths at the hands of her father -- and yet one who craves love. Her relationship with Robert D ...more
That said, the moments I could follow were good. The complex ins and outs of the life of Elizabeth I is almost too much for a single novel to contain, but when Kay gets it right, it's gorgeously wrought. Vain, manipulative, insufferable sometimes, but ...more
She is most known for her book, Phantom, which expands upon the history of Erik, the character from Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera, in an episodic format of seven chapters from different characters' points of view.
Susan Kay did not travel to Iran to research the novel, although she did research in person at the Paris Opera House.
Her first novel was Legacy, ...more