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All the Queen's Players [Paperback]

Jane Feather
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Press (13 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416525548
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416525547
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 13.1 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,418,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bookworm 30 Aug 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
realy enjoyed this book up to jane feathers standard well decribed england in the 16th century good story i enjoy all her books
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Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Are the Walsinghams Really Good For Queen Elizabeth?? 23 May 2010
By B. Ferris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Intrigue is the name of Francis Walsingham's life, he loves it and is Queen Elizabeth's Secretary of State. He's trying to proof that Mary Queen of Scots is trying to lead a takeover of England from her prison-like care by Elizabeth so they can go back to the true religion, Catholicism. Francis has a large network of spies through out the courts of both Elizabeth and Mary. His young cousin Rosamund is drafted to be a jr maid of honor for Elizabeth. Rosamund is a motherless, naive girl of 17 who has been without a mother for many years and her brother has been her caretaker, of course not much of one, but he has pointed her out to his cousin. Rosamund is an artist who draws with ink & paper so she is an asset to Francis. She ends up in disgrace very soon after joining Elizabeth's court but Francis sends her to Mary to do her best as his spy within her small court. Reading of Rosamund's life should be interesting but it just never is to me.

I found the book to be slow reading the last 80 pages were the best for me. I never warmed up to Rosamund and both queens seem to be silly, middle age women. We do know what happens to Mary and the book opens with Mary's beheading too. The secondary characters are just so-so in my thoughts and there are several most involved in Rosamund's life. She falls in love with Will Creighton and that is her downfall at Elizabeth's court.

I'm sorry I couldn't get into the book as I do like to read of the time period. I've never read one of Ms Feather's romances so this is my first book by the author. I'm sure I'll try her again though.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A so-so look at espionage and seduction in the court of Elizabeth I 14 May 2010
By Lauren A. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
All the Queen's Players tells the story of life in the court of an aging Queen Elizabeth I and the demise of Mary Queen of Scots, through the eyes of Rosamund Walsingham, neice of spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham. The first hundred pages or so of All the Queen's Players was rather dull. The novel begins with Rosamund witnessing Mary Stuart's execution. Then it flashes back to Rosamund's removal from the country into a life of intrigue and court life. Rosamund, who lived a quiet, fairly isolated existence in her family's Sussex estate, travels to London at the request of her uncle Sir Francis. She is accompanied by her brother Thomas, also a spy, and his lover Christopher Marlowe, the playright. Once in London, she discovers that she is to be sent to court as a maid of honor to the Queen while also working for her uncle, reporting on the Queen's moods as well as observing interactions amongst the courtiers. At this point in the novel, the focus is largely on Rosamund with chapters on Will Creighton, a courtier who becomes Rosamund's love interest, and the sexually adventurous Agathe, Lady Leinster and her lover Arnaud to Vaugiras. It is uncertain for those first 150 pages or so why the novel spends any time on Agathe and Arnaud.

Ultimately, Rosamund - who is rather innocent - finds herself in the midst of a plot straight out of Chaderlos de Laclos' Dangerous Liaisons and finds herself banished from court. As punishment, she is sent to Mary Stuart to spy for her uncle as he engages in counter-intelligence operations to get rid of the Queen of Scots. Through Rosamund's eyes - with brief mentions of Thomas Walsingham (her brother) and Will Creighton, the reader sees the Babington plot unfold and sees Mary careen towards her execution. Ultimately, Rosamund finds contentment, having managed to find redemption through marriage.

All the Queen's Players turned out to be a more entertaining read than I expected. The back cover seemed promising, but the first 100 pages or so were very dull. The novel took a while to "get going" and I had a hard time becoming interested in the spy games. Further, it was uncertain how the different plot lines were connected. I found the second part of the novel to be far superior to the first half.

The novel was too much of a bodice ripper at times - it certainly could have done without the Dangerous Liaisons copycat plot. (I found myself mentally referring to cetain characters as Vicomte de Valmont and Marquise de Merteuil instead of the names used in All the Queen's Players.) I also noticed in the beginning of the novel that the fork made an untimely appearance - earlier than forks were available in England. It automatically led me to question the authenticity of the novel. This was only heightened by Rosamund's rather anachronistic views of sexuality (the author "told" us that she was an innocent, but she was no Cecile de Volanges either, as evidenced by her frank conversations and flirtatious ways and her easy - and anachronistic -acceptance of her brother's homosexuality). In short, Rosamund did not ring true to me as a sixteenth century character. While the author seems to "excuse" this due to Rosamund's lack of a mother, she seemed a bit "freer" than a teenage 16th century girl. I don't want to spoil the conclusion, but certain actions described in the 1593 section seemed anachronistic for the 16th century landed man.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A surprising good historical fiction 3 Sep 2012
By G. Maisano - Published on Amazon.com
I dislike romance and I have avoided other books by Jane Feathers simply because of the covers. But since I am a sucker for the Tudor period and especially Elizabeth I and Walsingham (one of the most fascinating men in history) I had to give this book a chance. I was glad I did because I thoroughly enjoyed it. The historical details were well researched and I enjoyed this well written glimpse into the glory and grubbiness of the Elizabethan court and the machinations of Scot Mary. My only problems with the book were the farfetched set ups such as the heroine's talent for drawing (but I understand the author needed a hook to get her into Walsingham's service) and the feud between her brother and the Count Whatshisname. Jane Feather has a knack for historical writing but I would enjoy her writing more if she cut back on the romance and forced plot twists like dressing up like a boy, etc. and concentrated more on solid historical fiction. But that's just my subjective opinion and I know others like the romantic angles.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love this author but this book left me dissatisfied 10 Jun 2011
By K. Forell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a big Jane Feather fan I have all her books but I found this one disapointing. I read romance because I like happy endings this one doesn't deliver. All the Queen's Players is well written, but more in the style of a Phillippa Greggory novel than a typical romance. I imagine Ms Feather is stretching her scope as an author, and she proved she can successfully write in a different style. I pushed through to the end hoping it would get better and when I finished I was a little disgusted. If you love her books be prepared this one may surprise you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars All the Queen's Players 8 Feb 2011
By Jenny D - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read almost every book she has written. I really enjoy the trilogies. But, I had trouble getting into the relationship between Kit and Thomas. Because of that, I just never got into the story. I didn't like the Thomas character at all and I don't want to spend the time trying to get into a story.

I wouldn't recommend this book.
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