The Queen's Fool : The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels

  • by Philippa Gregory
  • Narrated by Bianca Amato
  • Series: The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels
  • 20 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A young woman caught in the rivalry between Queen Mary and her half sister, Elizabeth, must find her true destiny amid treason, poisonous rivalries, loss of faith, and unrequited love.
It is winter, 1553. Pursued by the Inquisition, Hannah Green, a 14-year-old Jewish girl, is forced to flee Spain with her father. But Hannah is no ordinary refugee. Her gift of "Sight", the ability to foresee the future, is priceless in the troubled times of the Tudor court.
Hannah is adopted by the glamorous Robert Dudley, the charismatic son of King Edward's protector, who brings her to court as a "holy fool" for Queen Mary and, ultimately, Queen Elizabeth. Hired as a fool but working as a spy; promised in wedlock but in love with her master; endangered by the laws against heresy, treason, and witchcraft, Hannah must choose between the safe life of a commoner and the dangerous intrigues of the royal family that are inextricably bound up in her own yearnings and desires.
Teeming with vibrant period detail and peopled by characters seamlessly woven into the sweeping tapestry of history, The Queen's Fool is another rich and emotionally resonant gem from this wonderful storyteller.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Pitch Perfect Narration With a Great Story

There are books out there whose narration breathes life into a book and in this case this most definitely was the case. Anyone familiar with Phillipa Gregory works knows what she is capable of regarding her writing and despite my initial reservations I must say I am glad to say she did not disappoint me.

I have yet to find a Phillipa Gregory book that has not been narrated well. This has, thus far, been my 5th Phillipa Gregory title (I listened “Boelyn Inheritance” twice both the Abridged and Unabridged) and my second experience with Bianca Amato. Bianca weaved the story so exceptionally well that it is easy to get somewhat lost in her words. She has a voice that in and of itself tells a story, she gave life to the characters with specific focus on Hanah, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth Tudor specifically. Exceptional Narration! Utter perfection if you ask me, probably one of the best narrations I have listened to!

Phillipa Gregory... I was reminded once more why I am a big fan of her writings. This is the fourth of the Tudor books and picks up quite well from where 'Boelyn Inheritance' left off. The book chronicles the closing years of Edward VI, the rise and fall of Mary and the ascension of Elizabeth seen through the eyes of Hanah the Fool. The writing was, as usual, immaculate if you ask me. Just the way that she crafts words is something that anyone who likes literature would appreciate it. I like the route that Phillipa Gregory chose to tell this story. I must say I was a bit disappointed at the way Hanah allowed herself to be manipulated throughout the book but was pleased with the ultimate decision that she made in the end and the way she matured throughout the entire portion of the book itself. You actually get a very interesting view of Queen Mary and of Queen Elizabeth, their relationship being a very pivotal feature throughout the entire book. Even though you do inevitably know the outcome of the story at least where Elizabeth and Mary is concerned, the view point is so unique and the story itself woven so well it is still very easy to get engrossed in the book. Very well put together story as I would expect from Phillipa Gregory.
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- Theodore ""A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons"

Disappointing story and lead character

I can't understand why this book was two credits, and I feel them utterly wasted on this book. I usually enjoy Gregory's books for the way she brings a realism to such black-and-white historical events, but wow, was this was a let-down. It's the worst "love" story I've ever read, and I was disappointed the love story was so intrusive to the historical events unfolding.

If you pick up this book expecting a lot of insight into Mary and Elizabeth's socio-political affairs, this is the wrong book for you. Hannah, our leading lady, spends most of her time with Mary so you'll get the clearest run-down her actions, but Elizabeth's doings are usually from afar, and there is never any real explanation as to how and what Elizabeth and Dudley and Dee are accomplishing behind the queen's back, even though Hannah is playing spy and errand-runner for them. There's never explanation as to how and why Hannah was arrested. There's no real explanation as to why France and England were fighting this time, or what Mary's consort had to do with it.

Every aspect of Hannah feels like a forced plot device. She dresses like a boy, but everyone knows she's a girl. There's no pattern to Hannah's cleverness and gullibility, other than that it's convenient at the time for the author to have her be one or the other. She's extremely lackluster about her Jewish heritage, and yet she clings to it (which is it, Gregory, decide!) Both Mary and Elizabeth know her as and use her as a spy, and yet continue to favor her, even though she's a nobody with nothing to offer their causes. Her visions are predictable and obvious, yet she's constantly confused (to the point that it's kind of cheap and cheezy...her visions are not as mystical and eerie and poignant as say, Jacquetta's power in Lady of the Rivers). Hannah adopts the bastard son of her cheating husband without any real reason or desire, and suddenly turns into mama-bear. None of Hannah's qualities or actions feel at all natural.

Hannah was generally weak-kneed and wishy-washy, but it seemed that she was being built up to be a strong character in time. But as soon as I thought she had finally come into her own, she did this odd about-face and seemed to become everything that she had said she would not. It was so disheartening, because there wasn't even a plausible reason for her to fail this way, it just seemed to be what the author wanted to do next, no matter that she had built her characters to behave another way.

1. Don't read this if you're looking for a feel-good 'girl-power' story.
2. Don't read this if you're interested in the socio-political affairs and shift of power between Mary and Elizabeth, or anyone at all.
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- McKayla

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-20-2011
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio