14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Not my cup of tea,
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This review is from: The Tudor Princess (Kindle Edition)
First, it's worth noting that this is a re-release under a different name of The Forbidden Queen by D. L. Bogdan.
Unfortunately, The Tudor Princess wasn't my cup of tea. I picked up this book because I was intrigued by the premise. Whilst historical fiction on the Tudors seems to be everywhere these days, novels about Margaret Tudor, elder sister of King Henry VIII and Queen of Scotland, are few and far between. So I was quite interested in the idea of reading a novel about Margaret's life and her struggles.
The choice of pacing and the book's style of telling instead of showing were what stopped me from really enjoying it. Margaret expresses sadness on one page and excitement the next, a happy event occurs and a page later we've skipped a year and tragedy occurs (I'm avoiding giving examples as I don't want to give spoilers). I felt like the events of Margaret's life were being skimmed over, not explored in enough depth. As a reader I simply wasn't given the opportunity to care for any of these characters. That just doesn't move me, that doesn't tug at my heartstrings or make me feel in any way invested in what happens to these characters at all.When exciting or moving events occur off-screen, so to speak, and are related back to us the readers in a one line summary, you're basically cutting out the heart of the story. This is the meat of the plot! A writer wants to get their readers engaged in the events and characters of the story, and readers want to read a story they care about. When the events occur "off-screen" they lose a great deal of immediacy and feeling, and even worse when events are summarised and characters go from one emotion to the next and months and years pass in one page. In my opinion this bad pacing and telling rather than showing are together largely the reason why I didn't enjoy The Tudor Princess.
Put that together with a few other issues such as Bonnette's spelling out of accents, the blatant hindsight of the dream of Margaret's destiny, and the fact that Margaret herself came off as frivolous, selfish, and unlikeable, and this just wasn't for me. I'm sure the real Margaret could indeed be self-centred and insensitive, like anyone else, but I'm equally sure she was more complex and interesting than she's portrayed here. That said, others will no doubt enjoy The Tudor Princess, it just didn't gel with me.