Biographers often neglect the captive years of Mary, Queen of Scots, who trusted Queen Elizabeth's promise of sanctuary when she fled from rebels in Scotland and then found herself imprisoned as the "guest" of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his indominable wife, Bess of Hardwick.
The newly married couple welcome the doomed queen into their home, certain that serving as her hosts and jailers will bring them an advantage in the cutthroat world of the Elizabethan court. To their horror, they find that the task will bankrupt them, and as their home becomes the epicenter of intrigue and rebellion against Elizabeth, their loyalty to each other and to their sovereign comes into question.
If Mary succeeds in seducing the earl into her own web of treachery and treason, or if the great spymaster William Cecil links them to the growing conspiracy to free Mary from her illegal imprisonment, they will all face the headsman.
The Other Queen received a lot of mixed reviews and I have to agree, the first third of the book I struggled myself. Although I really liked the multiple-viewpoint technique in The Other Boleyn Girl I found it difficult to get into with The Other Queen.
Later however I began enjoying the book and almost feeling sad to already know it's ending. As the books description mentions the plot is about Mary, Queen of Scot's imprisonment in England which history buffs already tells the most interesting part in Mary's life has already happened. This unfortunately took a lot of momentum from the book which lacks of exciting moments.
In the end I liked it just enough to finish it.
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Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Touchstone; 1 edition (September 16, 2008)