Customer Reviews for

The King's Daughter

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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  • Posted October 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A dazzling biographical novel of Elizabeth of Scotland

    The King's Daughter by Christie Dickason is a biographical novel about Elizabeth of Scotland who later became Queen of Bohemia. She was the eldest daughter of James VI and I, King of Scotland, England, and Ireland, and Anne of Denmark.

    Christie Dickason has written a fascinating first person narrative told through the eyes of a lesser known princess of the 17th century - a pleasant reprieve from the over abundance of Tudor novels currently in the market place.

    Princess Elizabeth was born at Falkland Palace, Fife. At the time of her birth, her father was King of Scots and he was estranged from his wife. Their marriage was not a happy one. When she was six years old, Elizabeth I of England died and her father succeeded to the thrones of England and Ireland. When she came to England, the Countess of Kildare became her governess until she was consigned to the care of Lord Harington, with whom she spent the happiest years of her childhood at Combe Abbey in Warwickshire.

    When Elizabeth was nine years old, aristocrats secretly plotted to kidnap her and put her onto the throne of England and Scotland as a Catholic monarch after assassinating her father and the Protestant aristocracy. The plot became known as the Gunpowder Plot. Elizabeth managed to evade the kidnapping. When the plot was discovered, the guilty parties were swiftly executed. This made her father suspicious as to her own involvement, setting a course for conflict between father and daughter throughout the novel.

    James is a weak and unpopular king, despised for his debauchery, poor manners, and sodomy. Paranoid of his two children, Henry and Elizabeth, he keeps them at arms length not only from him, but from each other. Yet, Henry and Elizabeth have a strong bond of love and trust as they strive to protect each other from their father's machinations. The King toys with Elizabeth by continually threatening to marry her to numerous suitors. Elizabeth, however, is resilient and she keeps a wary eye on her father, outsmarting him at every turn.

    An interesting sidestory is the fictional character, Thalia Bristo, a black slave who becomes Elizabeth's eyes and ears in a court fraught with suspicion and deception. It draws a parallel between the two women's lives because they are neither free to conduct their own lives and are both bought and sold in accordance with the whims of men. The novel also introduces many fascinating characters such Francis Bacon, the Earl of Salisbury, and even the future King Charles 1.

    Filled with charming scenes, one of the most memorable is the one where she encounters her betrothed, Frederick V, Elector of the Palatinate in Germany. With wit, Elizabeth sets out to secure his father's approval to choose him as her husband. Well written, this aspect of the novel is humorous and heartwarming and depicts Frederick and Elizabeth's genuine love for each other throughout their marriage.

    I thoroughly enjoyed Christie Dickason's depiction of Elizabeth. The story is uncomplicated, easy to read, and full of interesting twists and turns. For anyone who has had their fill of the Tudors, this is an excellent story of a woman who used her wits to keep her head on her shoulders while fighting to find happiness and love.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a deep look at the King's Daughter; the other Elizabeth who kept her head too.

    Although King James I ignores the danger within his kingdom as dangerous as that on the continent due to a seemingly coming religious war between the Protestants and Catholics. James believes he is the peacemaker even while his own court is divided. His vessels for peace are strategic marriages between his offspring and those of other rulers as grandchildren prevent war.

    James' daughter Elizabeth was born when he was the King of Scotland and estranged from her mother Anne. When the English monarch died, six years old Elizabeth watches her father become the King of England. Three years later, traitors try to kill her father and place the nine year old Elizabeth on the throne, but the Gunpowder Plot fails. However, her sire trusting no one wonders how involved his daughter truly was. Over the years Elizabeth only trusts her black slave Thalia Bristo as they share in common "captivity" and a desire for freedom. When she meets her latest intended as her father has played with her mind by threatening her with suitors, Elizabeth thinks Frederick V, Elector of the Palatinate, would make an ideal spouse so she must trick her dad into approving their marriage while not losing her head to either man.

    Christy Dickason provides a profound fresh historical biography that moves beyond the Tudor publishing tsunami to the beginning of the Stuart reign. Elizabeth is terrific as she swims the deadly sea of intrigue that inundates her father's rule. Although a target of the Gunpowder Plot, she becomes a victim even though she escaped the attempted abduction as her father assumes she was a willing participant; already envious of her popularity he never trusts her again. This is a deep look at the King's Daughter; the other Elizabeth who kept her head too.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2010

    A Wonderful HF Novel for Everyone!

    Recently, I've become hooked on HF novels such as this one. There's just something about opening a novel, sitting back, and being instantly transported back to the 17th century and thrust in to the Shakespearian Era. Feeling as if you are among the Kings and Queens, wearing the fancy gowns and jewels, during a time when you, if you were a child of a King, were put on the marriage market, really left me in awe. I have had books transport me into history before, but Christie Dickason is outstanding and her work really does magic on my soul.

    Reading Elizabeth's story, as she's forced to join with one suitor as a pawn given by her father only to find an unexpected happiness with that suitor thus resulting in the disapproval of her parents, was out of this world. I felt every question, every thought, every emotion that Elizabeth felt. It was absolutely breathtaking as my heart really went out to her. Elizabeth would go to most any length to find her happiness away from her father, a jealous man who would do anything to keep peace-even pawning off his own children.

    I loved everything about this novel. The beautiful cover, the fantastic plot, the perfectly complex characters. Christie Dickason's attention to the rich 17th century detail was absolutely amazing and catching.

    This is definitely a 5 star (and then some!) novel that should be read by EVERY HF lover. Rich in detail, captivating characters, and beautiful writing, Christie Dickason's work will forever be on my book shelves to read again and again, and it should be on yours,

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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