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on 7 March 2009
This is one of Hooper's best. The sequel to 'At the House of the Magician', Lucy has become a spy for Queen Elizabeth the first. Her first mystery is that of a Lady in Waiting to the Queen who has been dissapearing at every possible chance. Is she connected to Mary, Queen of Scot's plots? Is it something else? With the help of The Queens fool, Tom, can Lucy solve the mystery?
Written beautifully and based around the real people and plots, Hooper has written a brilliand novel. Especially enjoyable if you like tudor history.
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on 26 February 2009
To be read after 'At the House of the Magician', this book is wonderful! It has mystery,intrigue, conspiracy, a hint of romance and all the charms of the Elizabethan period! After saving Queen Elizabeth 1's life, Lucy is now asked to work as a spy! This book follows her adventures as well as showing the mystical world of Dr Dee, the Queen's magician and revealing his secrets.
A great book!
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on 27 January 2016
I really enjoy Mary Hooper’s writing. She has such a subtle way of weaving historical facts into the storyline, immersing the reader so completely into the time period that I can’t help but fall in love with her books. With this story set within the household of John Dee, Elizabeth the first’s famed court magician, ‘By Royal Command’ is a sweet read full of magical deceptions, court gossip and dark intrigue.

In this second instalment of the trilogy, we see Lucy settling into her new life as nurse maid to Dr Dee’s daughters. But as she is starting to learn, nothing stays normal for long within the house of John Dee. With ghostly cries coming from under the floorboards and plots to overthrow the queen lurking around every corner, Lucy must put her spying skills to the test and accept her own unique powers if she is to be of help to England’s queen...

The descriptions in this story are so beautiful, the frost fair on the Thames, the courtly dresses and festivities, all of them written with such detail that I could easily imagine myself there at that place and time.

However while I thought the plot was a little slow paced and slightly anti-climatic, the characters were all very intriguing. Every one of them having their own motives and secrets – especially the queen’s fool Tomas. I think this book brought him and Lucy a little bit closer but he is still quite an elusive character. I’m really looking forward to seeing how their relationship develops in the next and final book of the trilogy.

So overall, I thought By Royal Command read as a sweet, filler-sort of novel – although it could quite easily be read as a stand alone – that truly brings the time period to life. I can easily recommend it to all fans of YA historical fiction. 3 stars!
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