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The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary, Queen of Scots (Young Royals Books (Quality)) Paperback – 18 Jun 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Graphia Books (18 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 054402219X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544022195
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.7 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,217,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Through a fresh, modern voice, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, is presented as a fascinating, headstrong, multidimensional woman. . . . The scheming and rivalries of Scotland are covered in such a way that the novel makes complicated history accessible and intriguing."--"SLJ"

"Mary is a relatable, sympathetic protagonist, and though she has many responsibilities and expectations the average teen reader doesn't, she still deals with plenty of common adolescent problems: parental expectations, crushes and the confusion they can lead to, a changing dynamic between herself and her childhood friends."--teenreads.com

Praise for Carolyn Meyer's Young Royals books:

"High drama . . . irresistible."--"Booklist"

"Riveting."--"Publishers Weekly"

"Masterful."--"VOYA"

"Captivating."--"SLJ " --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hiragi00 on 16 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is the worst book Carolyn Meyer had ever written. It is Mary Stuart's own telling. And all her say is "I'm innocent pure lady maliciously ill treated". I don't believe you, Mary.

I don't think Mary is innocent of Darnly's murder nor I think Mary is forced to marry Bothwell. She had to her men to kill her own husband and joyfully married to Bothwell.

I recommend Jean Plaidy's "Royal Road to Fotheringhay".
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 43 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Solid YA historical fiction 28 April 2012
By Amanda - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Apparently, there's this big world of Carolyn Meyer YA-style historical novels that I've never really known about. I guess I should, considering that I enjoy historical fiction and some YA novels so much, but for some reason I never really knew about these books, and after looking at Meyer's rather long line of bio-historicals surrounding women in history, it seems that this began as a more child-oriented approach but, with the popularity of Philippa Gregory and other historical fiction, it grew into YA historical fiction -or, something like that.

Thus, The Wild Queen was my first introduction to Carolyn Meyer. The Wild Queen chronicles the life of Mary, Queen of Scots who, interestingly, seems to only get scene time (or, book time) in relationship with her nearly 20-year imprisonment by Queen Elizabeth I. In fact, I'd say that I knew every little about Mary's earlier years before picking up this book.

At the age of five, Mary was left as the only surviving heir to the Scottish throne. Fearing for her life (and to secure an advantageous marriage to the Dauphin), Mary is sent off to France. Though she later marries the Dauphin, he unexpectedly dies, and Mary is left to pick up the pieces of her life -and the complex politics that comes with her inheritance. Using little but her own strength and power, Mary must secure her way to the Scottish throne among turmoil, religion and political intrigue -along with her distant claim to the throne of England and uncertain friendship with her cousin Queen Elizabeth I.

I wasn't really expecting much from this book, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The writing here is very solid, straightforward and incredibly quick and easy to read. And the research is surprisingly solid and accurate, but yet with enough unique intrigue to keep readers interested (even if they already know Mary's story). I was especially impressed with how Meyer handled the politics and how she portrayed a strong female character triumphing over -and being a victim of -these politics. Honestly, this almost read as an adult historical fiction novel because it became so sophisticated and strong (worthy of The Other Boleyn Girl crowd).

Yet, what kept it distinctly YA is how Meyer glossed over some of the more horrible (and adult) happenings in Mary's life. I was glad, at least, that she didn't completely leave them out (as they are an important part of Mary's story), but glossed over enough to keep it fairly clean (compared to the adult novels in the genre). After having read so many of those adult novels, I actually found this to be very refreshing and much more readable. Most importantly, Mary's story isn't about romance, it's about a strong young royal trying to survive the wild world that she's been born into.

The Wild Queen isn't an innovative book, but an incredibly solid entry into the YA historical fiction genre. I'd recommend it for history nerds (such as myself) who like their stories a little bit cleaner. Very polished, very clean and very entertaining. I'll have to pick up some of Meyer's other novels now.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Mary, the Not-So-Wild Queen 31 July 2012
By Orianna - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a first-person fictional YA biography of Mary, Queen of Scots, part of the author's Young Royals series. Others in the series detail the lives of Marie Antoinette, Catherine de Medici, Catherine of Aragon, and Queen Anne.

When King James V dies in 1542, his newborn daughter Mary is crowned queen of Scotland. Betrothed to the dauphin of France, Mary is raised in the French court and, when old enough, marries and becomes the queen of France. In spite of her position, she has very little power and all that she has vanishes the day her husband dies. Determined to claim her rightful place as the queen of Scotland, she returns to Britain. But not everyone is happy with a female ruler, and not everyone supports her claim to the throne. She is surrounded by traitors and doesn't know whom to trust. Perhaps if she follows her heart, she can make peace with her cousin, Queen Elizabeth of England.

I am keenly interested in the history of England and Scotland's monarchs and I love reading about the kings and queens of old. Their lives were often tragic and filled with misery, but it's all very fascinating to me. However, sad to say, I wasn't impressed with this novel and I had to force myself to finish it. First of all, though it's titled, "The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary, Queen of Scots," this is misleading. The book (and the queen herself) is actually quite tame. Sure, Mary makes a few foolish decisions, but she is hardly the fiery, untamed queen that the title and description implies. And she is not promiscuous in the least. Indeed, she remains a virgin for more than half the book, until she marries her second husband. While some historical accounts suggest she had a passionate affair with her personal secretary, in this novel, she doesn't. But it's okay, because the author assures us repeatedly throughout the book that Mary is quite "wild."

My second complaint lies with the fact that the entire book reads like a history textbook, except that it's in first-person, with dialogue. It is a prime example of what not to do when writing a novel. As the expression goes, "Show, don't tell." You're supposed to fill your novel with scenes depicting what happens. Instead, this novel merely tells us everything that happens. For example:

"On the December 17, 1566 (sic) the little prince was christened in the chapel royal at Stirling with all the pomp and ceremony and majesty that a prince deserved and the Catholic church could offer. The countess of Argyll stood as Queen Elizabeth's proxy. My son was named Charles, in honor of the king of France, his godfather, and James, in honor of my father and grandfather."

Instead of coldly stating these facts, it would have been nice if the author had described the scene. Let us see the priest holding the squirming baby, hear the excited murmurs of the crowd, smell the incense and burning candles, feel the tremors of pride that rush through the queen as she watches her infant son being baptized. What could have been an exciting scene was instead reduced to a few bland sentences. The entire book is written this way: very detached, very distant. Even though it's written in first-person, you never truly get inside the queen's head. You never learn to sympathize with her, or to feel what she's feeling. It's all very dull, like a history book, with lots of recitations of names and dates and events.

I had hoped to enjoy this novel, however I cannot give it more than two stars. Not recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Wild Queen 20 Jun. 2012
By mgw - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm not sure if "Spoilers" is really accurate here since it is a historical novel and it all happened so long ago, however, if you are like me and don't know much about the time period anyway, you may want to skip this review since I'll be discussing some of the things that happen nearer the end of the book.

In my opinion, this was a very long book considering it is supposed to be YA. I am not terribly familiar with the time period surrounding Mary Stuart but after reading this I still don't feel terribly confident about the details of the time period. The characters are all extremely interesting - King Henry of France, Catherine de Medici, the sickly young King Francois, the other Maries, her handsome and STD-ridden husband etc. Some of the general details were vague and some of the details were overbearing. The novel lists in great detail her favorite pastry (pear fritters) and how she defied convention by wearing a white wedding gown and all the ins-and-outs of growing up in the French Court but since it is written in the first personal, journal-type of view all of the mystery surrounding the murder of her syphilitic second husband is just sort of glossed over. The book contends that the Wild Queen had nothing to do with it when there is definitely a possibility that something could have been set in motion by her. The book maintains her innocence. And there at the end of the novel, her last 25 years or so are covered in a page.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An historical fiction novel of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots for young adults 25 April 2012
By Avid reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The latest installment in Carolyn Meyer's "Young Royals" series, "The Wild Queen" is the story of Mary Stuart, who becomes Queen of Scotland days after her birth. The book explores Mary's early childhood: in Scotland, before she travels to France, her life in France as the future Queen of that country, and her return to Scotland after the death of her young husband, the King of France.

Ambitious family members (both French and Scottish) attempt to control the young queen, and use her to gain power for their own ends. Meyer does not gloss over Mary's own errors in judgment, to include her disastrous second marriage to Henry Stuart (chosen because he was a cousin, tall, and good looking), a young man who lets his perceived power go to his head, as well as her third marriage to James Hepburn, Lord Bothwell, for protection and to further her goal to become Queen of England.

Meyer's prose is very readable, and the book is enjoyable. Some of the subject matter covered (marital relationships, mistresses, illegitimate children) may be too mature for readers younger than 14 or so. However, since people did marry young, particularly amongst the nobility, in Mary's day, issues such as these are to be expected in an accurate treatment of the subject matter.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Focused on France, rushed on Scotland - 3.5 31 Aug. 2012
By Biblibio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Perhaps it's a personal thing. Perhaps I've read too many books about Mary, Queen of Scots. But though Carolyn Meyer writes with clarity and a distinctly royal aloofness that is befitting of a twice-over queen, something about "The Wild Queen" did not entirely win me over. It is good, I may recommend it many young adult readers seeking to learn more about this remarkable woman, but it is far from my top choice.

Part of my frustration with "The Wild Queen" has a lot to do with the fact that the book focuses much more heavily on Mary's early life in France. Though this is certainly an interesting historical period, and interesting story to tell, it gave the entire book a particularly childish feel. Mary's voice as a young child, and later as a young woman, didn't change much. This meant that at first she sounded overly mature in her manner of speaking, and then later in the book, she sounded overly childish. Mary's time in Scotland - where there was certainly a lot more action, intrigue and drama - is drawn with very wide, encompassing brushes. Whereas the French court was very well-developed, I felt as though Meyer could not fully convince me of the reality of Scotland. It made every aspect of the second half of the book a little dimmer, though it was certainly more fast-paced.

As historical fiction, however, I have to commend Meyer for cramming in as much as she did. Meyer showed a lot more history than she necessarily had to, providing a clear image of the enmity between Catholicism and Protestantism during the time. Though this issue never takes center stage, its ever-present background impression was particularly powerful and well-done. Meyer also does a good job of introducing (or at least mentioning) the very many political players of the time. Whatever other flaws the book may have, "The Wild Queen" has a fair amount of historical information, even if some of it is, unsurprisingly, a tad simplified (and in one specific case, disturbingly so).

On the whole, "The Wild Queen" is a suitable young adult book on Mary, Queen of Scots. The focus on her early life, though perhaps less known than her later imprisonment, is a fairly standard "queen growing up" story, while the later drama of Mary's life seemed rushed and not as developed as it could have been. The writing is mostly pleasant, but often uncharacteristically childish and a little aloof. This is a fascinating piece of history which Meyer has written about with relative success. Not the best young adult Mary, Queen of Scots book by a wide margin, but a reasonably good one nonetheless.
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