Libby's Reviews > Ruled Britannia

Ruled Britannia by Harry Turtledove
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Sep 25, 10

bookshelves: unforgettable, favorites

When it comes to creating alternate history, Harry Turtledove is THE MAN! Nobody does it better, as he proves once again in this tale of England conquered by the Armada and lying uneasily under Spanish rule. Will Shakespeare, like his fellow Londoners, is just trying to make a living when he is asked by William Cecil to write a play. Writing plays is what Will does, but Cecil wants a particular play, a cunning piece of sedition, intended to incite rebellion against the Spanish, in favor of Elizabeth Tudor. The erstwhile Queen is imprisoned in the Tower of London, and Cecil and his fellow conspirators are planning riot and revolt to put her on her throne again.
This story has it all, action, suspense, historic setting, fabulous characters and twisting plot, all done with the characteristic humor and wit I have come to expect from Turtledove. You can taste and feel and smell Will's London, and you sympathize with his ambivalence. He wants rid of the Spanish, as all English do, but he is terrified of being involved in a cabal that could cost him his life. This is a big rich story that Shakespeare lovers, history buffs and adventure lovers will all enjoy equally.
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