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VINE VOICEon 1 August 2008
The story of (bloody) Queen Mary is told from the perspective of a member of the entourage of her husband Philippe of Spain. This would have been a great tool to get to the very substance of the dramatic story of the life of this Queen.

I found this book a disappointment as both a historical and fictional novel. I do share the views of previous reviewers. The story never takes off, is erratic and just has no flow too it. The dialogues are very often strange, in tone too modern, without the subtleties of Royal Tudor court life and most of the entire book does not created the personalities in a a way that one gets an idea about them. Historic novels are a unique tool to approach a historic personality without being too much tied to the historic documents and give them life and flesh. Great historic novelist do that, Susannah Dunn unfortunately does not. She simply does not know how to write convincing and compelling historical fiction.

Her books "The Queen of Subtleties" and "The Sixth Wife" were disappointments and unfortunately she keeps in line with her previous book. I think that will be the last Dunn book I am going to read. As one says: Every book has a good page: the last one. Very true here.
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VINE VOICEon 14 May 2009
What a con this book is. The title and the blurb lead you to believe that this book is all about Queen Mary and her marriage to Prince Philip of Spain. I was really looking forward to getting more behind the skin of Bloody Mary and her phantom pregnancy etc but if she appears in more than 10 pages overall I'd be surpirsed. As for Prince Philip - well, I'm still waiting for his entrance.

This story is told through the eyes of Rafael Prado, a Spanish sundial maker who is one of Philip's entourage brought over to England when the Prince and Mary marry. He is made up. The household he lives in is made up. The English woman he falls in love with, and her son, are made up. This whole book is about made up people, with a story that never happened and a few fleeting appearances by Queen Mary that make her look like some pathetic, desperate old woman. Gah!

I gave it 2 stars, because having said all that the story of Rafael and Cecily (his Englsih love) is sweet enough (even if it is made up) but I did find myself speed reading trying to get the actual historical facts (of which there are precious few). I wouldn't bother with this one, especially if you are a real history buff.
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on 21 June 2009
I have read Alsion Weir, Jane Dunn, Anne Somerset and of course Phillipa Gregory so decided to try Suzannah Dunn's The Queens Sorrow. I felt misled somewhat by the title, thinking that I would have a really good insight into the true sorrows of Mary I however, this simply was not the case. The book follows the story of one main character, Rafael, who himself is actually not that interesting and I felt lacked personality. I dug deep to try and feel something for his love for Cecily but, she was cold, dismissive and did not really bring any real passion to the book. I did however feel compelled to keep reading in the hope that there was going to be a really stunning ending, but, as I have read in so many other reviews, I had to read the last two pages again in order to try and find some clarity as to how the story actually does end, I am none the wiser. If you are still curious I advise borrowing from the library before purchasing.
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on 20 October 2008
Thank Goodness I did not spend my hard earned cash on this very disappointing novel. The blurb describes the book as being about Queen Mary and her travails. As a fan of the Tudor period it sounded as if it would be a good read. However Mary only makes a handful of fleeting appearances and the set up and dialogue are stilted and modern. The main protaganists are a sun dial maker and a servant who are of very little consequence and fail to engage the reader. I really did not care what happened to them. Some of the set pieces between them when they try and discuss religious differences and problems in the kingdom are trite and poorly written. The only good thing to say is that some of the descriptions of Tudor London are not bad. If you like historical fiction by Phillipa Gregory, Alison Weir and Tracy Chevalier then stick with them as the writing and content are far superior to this book.
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on 31 August 2008
It is very rare that I do not finish a book but this one was so bad I just couldnt be bothered after getting half way through. If you want to know anything about Mary Tudor dont bother with this book which centres around a Spanish sundial maker, a shallowly drawn character who seems pretty pointless. Mary Tudor is barely mentioned! If you must read this book then borrow it from the library and dont waste your money on buying it.
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on 9 October 2008
I've read "Queen of subtleties" which i quite enjoyed and "the sixth wife" which was entertaining although disappointing in that it was utterly fictional. But this book is truly the worst i've read this year - i'm so annoyed to have spent money on it! I was so interested and looking forward to a book on Mary Tudor - whereas Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth, indeed alot of Henry and his wives have been written about frequently not many really focus their attention on Queen Mary I. But halfway in Mary had only had two insignificant cameo appearances and I was so bored by the story of the dull and not particularly likeable Rafael. Don't read this book if you wish to read about Mary - read it for a vaguely interesting story of a Spaniard in tudor times - although half the time you think he could be in Londn in any old century. Next time I'll keep my money and wait till I can pick uyp Dunn's books in a charity shop or library.
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on 28 May 2010
I found this book hugely disapointing, the characters aren't likeable, the ending is terribe, it's slow and it didn't really provide me with any insight into the sorrows of Queen Mary. The main character is really dull and spends the whole book waiting to go back to Spain...I was keen for him to get going too as it might mean and end to the tedium.
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on 27 July 2008
Just read this today. Not much about Mary Tudor at all (or her sorrow) - masquerading as a "royal" book but just using this as a cover for a novel about someone else which isn't even very interesting. Disappointing as I like her other books.
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on 8 February 2010
It should not be promoted as a book about Mary Tudor. It had very little in it about her at all.

I found myself skipping through quickly trying to pick out the pages about Mary. Very boring.
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on 14 December 2008
What a waste of money! This book leads you to believe it is about Queen Mary, but she makes only 3 brief appearances. The story of the Spaniard stranded in London is boring and pointless, and as for the ending? I felt physically sick - I am still upset while writing this - I just had to get the word out to AVOID THIS BOOK !

NO STARS
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