1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The novel is beautifully written and expertly researched,
This review is from: The Noble Assassin (Paperback)
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.