This is an excellent novel by Susan Kay depicting the life of Elizabeth from early childhood, with a precarious struggle through adolescence, her sister Mary's suspicions of disloyalty, her imprisonment in the Tower through Traitor's Gate from which few, very few ever emerged from alive until finally, she reaches, against all odds, the throne of England. It's a story of survival and the emotional effects of dealing with three men that figure prominently in her life: Thomas Seymour, the Lord High Admiral, executed for treason for daring to seek her hand in marriage; Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leister--probably the only man who ever really did love her for herself; and, Robert Devereaux, Dudley's stepson who dared to presume she loved him beyond his willingness to betray her to achieve his own selfish ends. It's a very long historical novel; on my Kindle with the type set at #4 setting (Kindle's way of electronic pagination) the total number of locations is 15,629. So get prepared to really hunker down for a long read if you really like Elizabethan history as I do. Susan Kay won two prestigious awards for this novel and it is totally enjoyable and well worth your time.