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The Noble Assassin

The Noble Assassin [Kindle Edition]

Christie Dickason
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Praise for The Principessa

‘The perfect companion for long autumn evenings. It’s an absorbing historical adventure…a satisfyingly intricate plot’ First

‘This is a fabulous read. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical adventure and intrigue, twists and turns but also to those who revel in a poignant and powerful love story. There's something for everyone and what's more, it's beautifully written. What more could anyone ask? I cannot for the life of me understand why Christie Dickason's novels are not better known and appreciated. It's high time.’ Historical Novels Review

Praise for The Firemaster’s Mistress:

‘A rich mix of romance, suspense, adventure and lightly-worn knowledge. Gunpowder, treason and plot have never been so entertaining.’ Kate Saunders, The Times

‘Atmospheric and impressively researched, it is highly entertaining.’ Elizabeth Buchan, Sunday Times

‘The Firemaster’s Mistress is that rare historical novel: utterly congruent with history and successful as a work of fiction. It tells the story of an engaging man betrayed both by his own honour and his love for a Roman Catholic woman. His skills with explosives lead him into the very heart of the conspiracy, walking a difficult line with plotters, spymasters, and his own fears. The England of James I is magnificently evoked in this engaging novel.’ Philippa Gregory

Product Description

A thrilling account of one of English history’s most daring women, who risked everything in the dark days leading up to the Civil War. The perfect novel for fans of Suzannah Dunn and Phillipa Gregory.

Court beauty, Lucy Russell, Countess of Bedford, feels frustrated by life with her weak husband. Poverty stricken, they are confined to their country estate and excluded from court life in London after he disastrously allies himself against Elizabeth I.

Now, some years later, James I is seated on the English throne. His daughter, Elizabeth Stuart, former confidant of Lucy, has married the King of Bohemia. The precarious political situation in Europe is fraught, setting father against daughter. When Elizabeth and her husband are deposed, exiled and forced on the run, James is in no mood to come to his daughter’s aid.

Hearing of Elizabeth’s predicament, Lucy sees an opportunity to re-establish the Bedford name and offers herself as a peace envoy between the two parties. Setting out on a daring mission across the channel, Lucy discovers she is being manipulated by unscrupulous men, not least the calculating and darkly handsome Duke of Buckingham.

Can Lucy tread this most dangerous path, or by risking everything, will she pay the ultimate price?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 862 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (24 Nov 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007289138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007289134
  • ASIN: B005IGZV6O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #86,691 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic, compelling, true 8 Jan 2012
The Noble Assassin is a wonderful tale of love and grief and political intrigue. There's so much to relish here. The narrative is gripping; the places, from the icy river-bank of the Thames to draughty palaces stuffed with suspicious and arrogant courtiers, are beautifully evoked; and the cast of historical characters have a flinty veracity that suggests scrupulous and loving research, as well as a subtle and humane imagination.

However, above all this is a book to cherish for the portrayal of its central character, Lucy Russell. Trapped by circumstance, by her hopeless husband, by loss, she remains undaunted, and her struggle for freedom is compelling. Capricious, vain, generous, warm, brilliant, she is utterly believable, as is the portrayal of her intense relationship with the poet John Donne.

With crisp and poetic writing (try the first page above), and a rich sense of period, this is a moving and pacy story of hope, ambition and redemption.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Christie Dickason's distinctive voice speaks eloquently in her fine new historical novel, The Noble Assassin. Reading along, it is such a pleasure to encounter Dickason's vibrant metaphors, stunning turns of phrase and poetic expression of insight into creature delights and inexorable disappointments as she conjures her brilliant and dynamic 17th century heroine, Lucy Russell, Countess of Bedford. Author and subject are totally at one in this story of love and power, loss and longing, and murderous intrigue at the court or King James I. An experienced practitioner of the form, this go around Dickason's narrative is powered by an evocative, cinematic technique as the action regularly flashes forward and back again in a manner that is both deft and compelling as an earlier Dickason heroine, Princess Elizabeth (The King's Daughter), is woven into the gripping plot. Dickason, ever the adept storyteller, is masterful at evoking the lives and spirit of early modern England. She has a stunning (uncanny, really) sense of place. The detail and accuracy with which Dickason writes makes you believe that you are there at Whitehall Palace, walking the streets of Stuart London, punting on the Thames, sitting by the hearth at Bedford House or enjoying the gardens created by Lucy in an age gone by. As a wordsmith, this writer has an acute ear for period dialogue. Dickason's characters out of history are vivid people of the flesh, not biographical archetypes. Her Lucy Russell is a woman possessed of a superior intellect and drive: frustrated assets in a doggedly man's world. Trapped in a hapless marriage, Lucy is determined to escape her predicament and the limitations imposed on her sex. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I love historical fiction, particularly that set in Britain, and so was keen to read this novel, especially when I discovered that the author worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company for many years - what a wonderful job, and such a chance to immerse oneself in period stories.

The novel is beautifully written and expertly researched. I particularly enjoyed reading the historical information included at the end of the book, on characters, settings and events. I found myself entirely relaxed that the author knew her facts inside out, and had crafted them carefully into an engaging, realistic tale. Lucy is a heroine whom it is impossible not to like: strong, courageous, intelligent and altogether human in her inner struggles. A vein of tragic grief provides a poignant undercurrent for the book, set up in the very first pages as Lucy contemplates suicide, and the other emotional pull which I found powerful is Lucy's fierce loyalty to her queen, and in many ways surrogate daughter, Elizabeth Stuart, The Winter Queen.

There is love in this story - between Lucy and the poet John Donne - but I'm not sure I would class this as romantic historical fiction because to me the love element was not a major part of the story. Still, it echoes through.

For me, the key strength of the book is the care that the author takes to let us into Lucy's thoughts and feelings. There is plenty of pace, but also plenty of attention given to how Lucy perceives events. I enjoy books that contain this emotional dimension, and I think that's what makes this book stand out as memorable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 27 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Another great book from this lady haven't been able to put down since I started reading and what a twist
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2.0 out of 5 stars Tedious... 7 Oct 2013
By Lisa
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not my cup of tea. Honestly, I found the storyline boring, and the protagonist thoroughly unlikeable. The story was meant to follow on from an earlier book by the author, The King's Daughter, but there were inconsistencies which just drove me mad. The writing style felt like the author was trying to reel off lots of information in a hurry, and the tenses were all over the place. There was something about the way Lucy's internal monologue was written that reminded me of Philippa Gregory at her worst (think Mary QoS in The Other Queen). Sorry, just didn't like this one.
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