Amber (The Musings of ALMYBNENR)'s Reviews > The Queen's Pleasure

The Queen's Pleasure by Brandy Purdy
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Jul 04, 12

bookshelves: 2012-150-reading-challenge, 2012-historical-fiction-reading-cha, 2012-tudor-reading-challenge, arcs, historical
Read from May 26 to 30, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Rating: 4.5 stars

The Queen’s Pleasure is the long-suffering Amy Robsart Dudley’s story, the ill-treated and oft forgotten country heiress wife to the highly ambitious Lord Robert Dudley. When Amy, the squire’s daughter and Robert, a traitor’s son, first met, it was love at first sight. They quickly married despite the objections from both of their families, believing that their love and their dreams were all they needed. But even as Amy’s love remains steadfast, Robert’s ardor cools and he returns to Edward VI’s court only to be trapped in the Tower along with part of his family because of their involvement in keeping Mary Tudor from her throne after her brother’s death. Made into a scapegoat by those who would overthrow Mary, the Lady Elizabeth finds herself in the Tower with her old childhood friend she affectionately calls Robin and they become reacquainted.

Once Elizabeth ascends to the Tudor throne as queen, Robert works overtime to appeal to her womanly nature so he can put aside his wife, Amy, and wed a royal bride for her crown. When, two years into Queen Elizabeth’s reign, Amy Robsart Dudley is found dead at the bottom of a staircase, the suspicion is laid on Robert and the queen, for a death that still remains a mystery.

Brandy Purdy told the story of Amy Robsart’s relationship with Robert Dudley through both Amy and Elizabeth, in the first person. The Queen’s Pleasure began a few weeks after Amy’s death in a prologue from Elizabeth’s point-of-view before moving onto Amy herself on the morning of the day she died, as she reminisced about the last ten years of her life, beginning when she first met Lord Robert Dudley. From then on, a large chunk of the book is Amy’s and then it alternates between Amy and Elizabeth, to give the reader a view of Robert from another woman’s perspective who also loved him and to show what he was up to at court.

Purdy took the route of many historical fiction writers by painting the Dudley family as an overly ambitious and cruel bunch. I think I can safely say that they were definitely ambitious, but since I read another book that featured this family recently that colors them less harshly, I think I want to take a happy medium between those two portrayals as possibly the one most close to real life. But really, either way one looks at it, Robert Dudley really did become a nuisance with his incessant demands of Elizabeth and her throne and he was cruel enough to Amy by leaving her alone and wanting her out of the way so his own dreams could come true.

I believe The Queen’s Pleasure is the first historical fiction book I have read that really focused on Amy Robsart and her side of the story and that made this read refreshing and new, as well as heart-breaking. I thought Amy was a great and kind woman and I was really able to relate to her and her situation. It was the most human I have ever “seen” Amy before. In other books I have read, she was always in the periphery as a hindrance to Robert and Elizabeth, but Purdy has turned her into a real woman who was wrongfully rejected and whose lifelong dreams were stolen from her because of a self-absorbed man who never deserved her.

Although it was a bit lengthy, Brandy Purdy really was able to get into both Amy’s and Elizabeth’s minds and bring them to life and I really enjoyed and learned from reading Amy Robsart Dudley in a new light.
The Queen’s Pleasure is Brandy Purdy’s most riveting work yet!

Recommended for historical fiction and Tudor era lovers seventeen and older who have always wondered about Amy Robsart and the mysterious circumstances of her death. It is a must-read!

Read this review in its original format on The Musings of ALMYBNENR here.
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05/27/2012 page 163
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