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Spy for the Queen of Scots
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Spy for the Queen of Scots

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  341 ratings  ·  42 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
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  341 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Nov 17, 2014 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 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
Jul 17, 2014 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
Salima Bensalah
Apr 02, 2016 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 02, 2015 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 flo ...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. :)
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
DNF. At page 80.
I wanted to read this because I loved the tv show Reign which follows Mary queen of Scots and was interested in knowing more about her story.
I was soooooooo bored, I didn't connect with any of the characters. I did like the relationship between Jennet and Duncan, but it was taking so long.
Angel Vel
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I LOVE IT SO MUCH, it kind of reminds me of pride and predigest, the love between Jenny and Duncan, although I haven’t read the book, I have only seen the movie so the book of pride and predigest might be different. I still love it.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scottish drama.

A very slow but investing romance.

Sep 29, 2014 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 b ...more
Jun 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, for-review, 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 Sh
May 26, 2013 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.
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
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 writi ...more
Benenden School Library
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: year-10
This educational and fictional read follows the Lady Ginette, one of Mary Queen of Scot's ladies-in-waiting, as she tries to protect both her best friend and her Queen in the constant conflict between Scotland and England as the Royal succession is challenged. Mary continues her mother's fight to bring peace between the two countries but secret enemies surround her. Lady Ginette falls in love with a man she knows nothing about. His frequent disappearances trouble her and she finds out very littl ...more
Feb 15, 2014 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 16, 2013 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 keepin ...more
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fiction, hist-fict
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 13, 2013 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
May 07, 2014 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 21, 2016 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 13, 2012 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 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.
Sep 23, 2013 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
May 22, 2014 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.
Oct 22, 2016 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.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 16, 2015 11:03AM  

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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 life ...more