Wednesday, December 14, 2011
What I'm Reading Wednesday: The Queen's Fool
I told you I was out of dystopian teen books. I've moved on to historical English smut. This week I'm reading The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory. I'm on page 327 of 500.
This book is focused on a young Jewish woman named Hannah who has visions. She enters the service of King Edward as a "Holy Fool," which apparently means the person is prophetic, not funny. Personally, I'm glad "Fool" is not part of my job description, but maybe it was cool back then.
Unfortunately, it wasn't cool to be Jewish back then, so Hannah pretends to be Protestant and she also dresses as a boy in order to have more freedom. Some people know she's a girl, others think she's a hermaphrodite
She ends up bouncing between two courts - Queen Mary (of Bloody Mary fame) and Princess Elizabeth (daughter of Anne Boleyn). And since this is a Philippa Gregory book, the book is filled with sex, deceit, and power struggles.
I absolutely loved The Other Boleyn Girl. It was one of those books that I loved from first page to last page. I loved it so much, I decided to read all of Philippa Gregory's books - in order. Well, Philippa's early books are crap. Some of them even feature incest - gross, gross, gross! A friend finally told me that the Tudor books are really her best ones so I opted to try again with The Queen's Fool.
I'm so glad I did - this book is fun with a capital 'F.' It's a smutty, soapy, trashy story with loads of intrigue.
I would like to shake Hannah. She's engaged to a nice Jewish physician but won't commit to marrying him because she's hot to trot for some handsome married rascal. Ah, 15-year-old girls - they don't have any brains! Always choose the nice over the devil-may-care jackass.
I am also feeling depressed at all the comments about how the 37- year-old Queen Mary is old and dried up and how she was ridiculously old to have children. I realize those were different times back then and people died super-young. Still, since I'm 35, I'm not particularly pleased to hear Queen Mary described as a dried up old crone.