cookiemonger's Reviews > Queen's Ransom

Queen's Ransom by Fiona Buckley
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This was a nice change in the series. Ursula is getting tired of intrigue and the fact that her spy work is not only keeping her from her husband, but also eroding her belief in her own goodness. At the end of the last book (and really, why are you reading this one if you didn't read that one), she gave yew poison to a condemned man to allow him to die at his own hand rather than be hanged. This is understandably weighing on her mind, so that she doesn't want to let herself even visit her daughter, for fear that she's becoming corrupted and it will rub off.

Meg is so often relegated to nothing but a plot device or a strong inconvenience that can be used by Ursula's enemies, that sometimes I really wish there just wasn't a daughter at all. An ailing parent would do the same trick. But to fix this retroactively would require her death or estrangement, which would definitely send Ursula into a BSOD of depression, which would not make for good reading. So... stuck with this absentee daughter.

Summarising the plot is actually hard if you've read the whole book. Spoiler-free, Ursula's father-in-law from her first marriage (is there any shorthand for such a relative?) Blanchard, needs to travel to France to collect and ferry home his ward, a girl who is to marry Ursula's cousin, Edward Faldene. He asks Ursula to come along as a female chaperon for the girl. As further encouragement, the Queen gives Ursula a letter that must be delivered to France's queen mother.

Along the way, Ursula can't help but ask after the welfare of her husband, which brings her into contact with him, but (view spoiler) And that was the biggest disappointment of the book for me. That is the entire reason they went. The girl was a side errand.

The rest of the book's major drama rests on Dale basically being an idiot. She makes rude remarks about "papists" in FRANCE, and (view spoiler) There's a perfectly good explanation for it, but it gets them into a lot of trouble. This was necessary because of the previous plot point being so incredibly weak. This isn't so much a journey story as it is a Fixing Dumb Mistake story.

I liked Jenkins and it was nice to see that Ursula finally found her way to making up her dang mind over this whole Matthew business. I would have been happy whatever she had decided. I just wanted to see some definite action on her part.
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Reading Progress

October 1, 2014 – Started Reading
October 1, 2014 – Shelved
October 1, 2014 –
75.0%
October 2, 2014 – Finished Reading

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