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After reading the lukewarm review of an Audible customer that has studied the Tudors at one of the UK's finest Universities I didn't write a review. I had to wonder why I was so completely entertained by this book! I literally couldn't put it down and went straight through the whole story on 1.5x speed. I think possibly that sometimes my ignorance is a good thing because I enjoyed this novel so much that I downloaded several other books by this author which I have also enjoyed immensely. I decided to write on behalf of the lesser scholars and those entertained as easily as I am.
Rather than picking up on any annoying traits, I thought this book was a wonderfully intimate look at Queen Elizabeth and the Tudor women and their intense devotion to a lifestyle and a position they believed was divinely inspired. It became very understandable to me how important the fight to reign became. Pushed by supporters and the belief that it was their God-given right as well as destiny to sit upon the throne, the pursuit to do so became a life or death struggle that could change in an hour. It reminded me of life in a beehive where there can be only one Queen or splitting and disloyalty destroys the hive. The mercurial cruelty of Queen Elizabeth to her family was wild...the format for the Evil Queen. So much has been written about the Kings that a look at female royalty in history was impressive and enlightening.
I am no student of the Tudors, (I did watch the entire Showtime series The Tudors and have read everything by Hillary Mantel ; ) so I decided I'm either easily impressed or new enough to the writing of Phillippa Gregory that I couldn't compare her books and rank them. In it's genre, this is one of my favorite books.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
Disappointed? Yes. I have waited months and months for this book. To say that I am a fan of Philippa Gregory is a total understatement. Not only have I studied the Tudors in depth at one of the UK's finest Universities but I have adored every word that Ms. Gregory has penned. However this book, The Last Tudor, was a travesty I listened to every word hoping that it would get better. It did not.
It is a study of the last three Tudor sisters opening with one of my favorite ladies of history Lady Jane Grey. In this book Jane is a whiney little ignoramus. In fact she seems totally clueless. Her arrogance is a complete surprise as everything that I have read about her emphasizes her humility. I know that this is historical fiction but this is going beyond dramatic license.
After Lady Jane is promptly 'dispatched' by Queen Elizabeth I we move onto her younger sister Katherine who seems to be so darn stupid that she answers most questions with the word 'WHAT?" I lost count at how many times this stupid woman said 'WHAT?".
Lastly we move onto Mary the youngest, and yet another member of the 'I don't have a clue Tudor club'! I was grinding my teeth listening to this character. Most frustrating part was that we learn that her husband dies. This is supposed to be the 'great passion'. So we have listened to their courtship (OH Gosh so painful) and their subsequent suffering through separation due to the ever jealous Queen Elizabeth I. Then he 'dies' as reported by some doctor. How does he die? Personally I think that he read this book and then jumped off a cliff because it was maudlin and so very non Philippa Gregory.
The only redeeming feature was another fine performance by Bianca Amato.
Although I really did not like this book I cannot wait to see what Ms. Gregory comes up with next as I am and will always be a fan.
21 of 23 people found this review helpful