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Favored Queen, The Hardcover – 14 Nov 2011

11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press (14 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312596901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312596903
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 2.7 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,292,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Praise for "THE FAVORED QUEEN""A delectable serving of Tudor dish."--"Kirkus Reviews"Praise for Carolly Erickson's Historical Fiction"Suspenseful and detailed, the novel captures a dramatic moment in history and will sear you with sorrow for this doomed daughter of the last tsar." --"People "magazine on "The Tsarina's Daughter""""I read The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette in two days, and when I finished it, I re-read the final pages, as hungry for more as a child scraping the last crumbs of chocolate cake off her plate with her fingers." --"New York Times Book Review "on "The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette""Entertaining." --"USA"" Today "on" The Last Wife of Henry VIII" "Steer Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory fans immediately to this satisfying read-alike . . . [an] historical tour de force." --"Booklist "on "The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots""An exquisitely realistic portrait of Tudor England. . . . compelling reading. . . . Historical fiction fans can't get enough of the Tudors; this engaging story is a worthy addition to the genre." --"Library Journal "on "Rival to the Queen""A top-notch narrative . . . romantic and gripping." --"Publishers Weekly" on "The Tsarina's Daughter""A fast-paced, lavishly detailed narrative." --"Kirkus Reviews" on "The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots""""Fascinating . . . highly recommended." --"Library Journal" (starred review) on "The Hidden Diary of Marie Antionette"

About the Author

Distinguished historian Carolly Erickson is the author of "Rival to the Queen," "The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots," "The First Elizabeth," "The Hidden Life of Josephine," "The Last Wife of Henry VIII, " and many other prize-winning works of fiction and nonfiction. Her novel "The Tsarina's Daughter" won the "Romantic Times" Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction. She lives in Hawaii.

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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By jenny on 14 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover
When I heard that a novel centred on Jane Seymour was coming out, I was ecstatic. After all, she seems to be the wife that receives the least attention out of Henry's women and that is rather annoying for a self confessed Tudor addict. I can only think of three novels written about her and I had to dig very hard to find them. I was determined to have this book from the very start.
How I regret it now.

Okay, so I didn't mind the glaring historical liberties taken. Sometimes it helps the plot move along or helps establish a character's motives. But what I absolutely loathe is when a historical person's personality changes so much that they don't even resemble the person they are meant to be. Jane is only one of many that this happens to. To begin with, she is rather a 2 dimensional character compared to other people in the book so she already suffers. But she proclaims herself to be madly in love with William Dormer but then randomly sleeps with Anne's French glazier, a man she has never met before and doesn't even know his name. I think the one thing that can be said of Jane Seymour is that she was fairly chaste. She certainly wasn't a slut reduced to sleeping with random men (despite what Mr Chapuys thinks!). Anne suffers from it the worst though. Gone is the feisty, independent woman we all know and love, and in her place is a spoilt, sly bitch who is effectively the Tudor equivalent of Regina George. She is a boyfriend stealer, first trying to seduce her friend's fiancées and when they turn her down she sets her eyes on the King. Henry is depicted as a ranting, raging lunatic. In every scene he is practically shouting about something or other. I'm surprised he has a voice to speak with. He is nothing short of an abusive pig with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Living at court from a young age, Jane Seymour wants nothing more than to marry her childhood friend, Will, and to live in the country to raise their family. But things never seem to go the way the way she planned, with obstacle after obstacle getting in the way of Jane and Will's marriage. Jane loved her mistress, Queen Catherine, and had to watch as King Henry tore the country apart to be with Anne Boleyn. Not knowing what to do, Jane carries on her life at court, serving the Queen whether that is Catherine or Anne. But from the start she has felt that she gets on with King Henry, and more than that, that he trusts her, and when he asks her to be his next wife she has to decide whether to follow he heart or to do the right thing for the King.

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Well that was certainly interesting. In general the focus of the Tudor books that I've read is the Boleyns, though there have been several portrayals of them, particularly Anne. One thing that I've found is that no two are alike. So reading a book narrated by Jane Seymour was interesting, particularly because in the other Tudor fiction I've read she's actually been shown as quite weak and very innocent and actually kind of boring. This Jane wasn't.

I did very much like the fact that Jane wasn't as innocent as she seems in other representations. In fact she was far from an innocent and actually partook in some scheming and back stabbing (most notably in relation to Catherine, and then Anne's, pregnancies. I thought this was an interesting take, especially because it was more believable. I also liked the fact that she had fallen in love, if she hadn't I don't think the story would have worked as well.

I liked the way that Henry and Jane's relationship worked too.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Although this isn't a bad read per se, my major grumble is that the title and cover blurb imply this is going to be a novel about Jane Seymour's tenure is Queen of England. It is not. The first 7/8ths deal with Henry's first two wives, which while always a good read, has been done a million times before (and better by other authors) and was not why I picked this book up. Jane's time as Queen is jammed into the last couple of chapters and deals exclusively with her pregnancy and death - again, this topic is skimmed over regularly in other titles, and this one doesn't offer anything new.

Other reviewers have mentioned the bizarre inclusion of a subplot with a French workmen, which I'd agree with - not really sure what this adds to the novel as a whole and seems to be completely made up (I know, it's a novel and there's a degree of creative licence, but when it's historical fiction based on well-known characters I think it's harder to swallow).

One minor detail irritated me also, when Jane is arriving at her new home and mentions the lights on indoors. A fleeting reference, but it jarred!

Overall it's an OK read, just very disappointing when you think it's going to be about one thing and it turns out to be another - just the same story of Anne Boleyn's rise and fall from a different character's perspective.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miss P M Costello on 20 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Oh dear me so so so bad - can't give minus ten stars
It's the worst book I've ever ever read ny Times bestseller list, makes one wonder
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Bishop on 3 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is perhaps not the worse i have read but I am glad I got it from the library rather than buying it. There is too much invention of events as well as character, and the picture of Henry in particular is very inaccurate. I agree that the affair with a Frenchman is totally unconvincing. Get it from the library like I did.
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