Jessica's Reviews > Ruled Britannia

Ruled Britannia by Harry Turtledove
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's review
Nov 09, 2008

really liked it

A facsinating read. I truly enjoy Mr. Turtledove's alternate histories, and this one did not disappoint.

The language got a little too intense sometimes (I found towards the end that I was actually replacing "thou" and "thee" with their modern-day counterparts), but the story itself was strong.

I'll admit, picking up this novel, I didn't have a whole lot of information on Shakespeare (beyond what I retained from school). That didn't much matter, though, because the Shakespeare that the reader is introduced to is a playwright who is young, working with his company, struggling with home life, and eager to prove his worth.

That was what truly made this book for me - Turtledove's portrayal of Shakespeare during the "early" years, and his struggle to play his part in what could become a Revolution, while also playing the part of loyal subject of King Philip.

The introduction and socialization with Lope de Vega, Spanish soldier and fledgling playwright, added a nice tenseness to Shakespeare's thoughts, actions and decisions.

I was also strangely drawn to Kit Marlowe, who I did some research on after reading this book. I liked how Turtledove was able to retain the how of Marlowe's death, if not exactly the when and why. Hey, any book that makes me do research on a character after I've read it gets extra points!

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