To Shield the Queen : Ursula Blanchard

  • by Fiona Buckley
  • Narrated by Nadia May
  • Series: Ursula Blanchard
  • 9 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Rumor has linked Queen Elizabeth I to her master of the horse, Robin Dudley. As gossip would have it, only his ailing wife, Amy, prevents marriage between Dudley and the Queen. To quell the idle tongues at court, the Queen dispatches Ursula Blanchard to tend to the sick woman's needs. But not even Ursula can prevent the "accident" that takes Amy's life. Did she fall or was she pushed? Was Ursula a pawn of Dudley and the Queen? Suddenly Ursula finds herself at the center of the scandal, trying to protect Elizabeth while not losing her heart to a Frenchman who may be flirting with sedition against her Queen. As she sets out to find the truth, alone in a glittering court that conceals a wellspring of blood and lies, she can trust neither her lover nor her monarch.


What the Critics Say

"Narrator Nadia May is excellent as she takes on the royal entourage, but she is extra charming portraying Ursula as a clever, witty, sharp-tongued woman who has an eye for the gentlemen! The characters sparkle as May imbues them with the language and speaking manner of a significant and distinctive historical period." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Elizabethan Lite

Nadia May is the best. Her narration is superb. It adds so much to the text. It's not that I didn't enjoy the book, I did as you can see by my rating. I am rating it for what it is, a light historical mystery with a romantic subplot. But I wonder if I would have been as taken if I had read it. Ursula Blanchard is an interesting character, as are those around her. I especially like her servants. But she is naive to say the least. Her support of Elizabeth and the protestants isn't based on any strong religious conviction but rather on a description she had heard of a burning under the reign of Queen Mary. While things weren't lovely under Mary, Mary certainly didn't start the torturing and killing based on religion. Henry the VIII's reign was rampant with burnings, beheading, and hangings. The dissolution of the monasteries was violent. Ursula's lack of serious contemplation about this issue made her a weak character for me. The description of the recorded plotting and intrigue at Elizabeth's court is superficial.

That said, the book was enjoyable and I will listen to at least one more. I admit the lack of brutal killings and graphic violence was a relief after other books set in the same or close time periods. I love Sansom's Matthew Shardlake books but the killings and murders can be gruesome.
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- Marie


The author does a great job of creating a totally fictional character among actual historic figures. Since Isabella is supposed to be working undercover for Elizabeth I, who knows if she really existed or not? Buckley remains true to the events of the time while weaving a tale of mystery and intrigue. Nadia May, one of my top narrators, does her usual masterful job here. Very enjoyable.
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- Linda Lou "OCD over books, listening to 1 a day; ANY genre, fact & fiction. Influenced by Audible reviewers so I keep mine unbiased - FRONT to BLACK!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-06-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.