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Customer Reviews for

The Other Queen

Average Rating 3.5
( 257 )
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5 Star

(60)

4 Star

(92)

3 Star

(60)

2 Star

(35)

1 Star

(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

If you want to learn history, this is the way.

Another Philippa book that I couldn't put down. I understood Bess' frustration. Her husband, George was a fool. Now I'm onto " The Constant Princess."

posted by penname96 on May 12, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

So disappointed after waiting so long!

Let me say first that I am a huge Philippa Gregory fan and generally love her work. This book however, was long and boring. The subject itself was a good choice the storyline in my opinion was dull and lifeless. The Queen being moved from one place to another, plotti...
Let me say first that I am a huge Philippa Gregory fan and generally love her work. This book however, was long and boring. The subject itself was a good choice the storyline in my opinion was dull and lifeless. The Queen being moved from one place to another, plotting her escape.....yawn. I wish she would have chose to write about the queen during her time upon the throne. The Queen of Scots had a fascinating life during her reign, full of scandal and turmoil. It would have made a sensational historical novel.
I usually read one of Philippa's books in a day and reread them several times. I had to force myself to finish this one and I will not reread it.

posted by julie1972 on May 6, 2009

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Page 1 of 13
  • Posted May 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    So disappointed after waiting so long!

    Let me say first that I am a huge Philippa Gregory fan and generally love her work. This book however, was long and boring. The subject itself was a good choice the storyline in my opinion was dull and lifeless. The Queen being moved from one place to another, plotting her escape.....yawn. I wish she would have chose to write about the queen during her time upon the throne. The Queen of Scots had a fascinating life during her reign, full of scandal and turmoil. It would have made a sensational historical novel.
    I usually read one of Philippa's books in a day and reread them several times. I had to force myself to finish this one and I will not reread it.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Other View

    This is a story told in segments, with each chapter telling one's story, and then rotating to each other. It makes for frustrating reading as the pacing is horrible. I am well familiar with the story and looked forward to a dramatic telling, but this is a very disappointing book.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2008

    Such a disappointment

    I usually LOVE Philippa Gregory's books and I was so excited for this one to come out, but I only got half way through the book because it was incredibly slow, repetitive and BORING. There was hardly any dialogue in the book! Even if a book is slow, I usually try to force myself to finish, but I just couldn't with this one. Poorly written and just no story. Hopefully, Gregory will reprove herself with her next one because I love all of her other books!!!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    If you like a story line that jumps around..

    I picked up this book because I love Gregory's other books. However, it really was a waste of my time and money. There really was no story. It was constantly jumping around from character to character. I did not like that there were 3 points of view, constantly shifting the focus of the reader. Overall, I think that it was poorly written. If you are a die-hard fan of Gregory's, please check it out of the library, do not purchase it.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    If you want to learn history, this is the way.

    Another Philippa book that I couldn't put down. I understood Bess' frustration. Her husband, George was a fool. Now I'm onto
    " The Constant Princess."

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2008

    Not her best work

    This story is not nearly as compelling as her previous books have been. I had a hard time staying interested in the plot.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    Mary Queen of Scots attempts to regain the throne of Scotland

    As in Philippa Gregory's other novels in this series, knowledge of the history of the Tudors is helpful. The author's style takes some getting used to; the title of the chapter tells to whose perspective the story has now shifted. The Other Queen tells of the struggle of Mary Queen of Scots' attempts to reclaim her throne and the political rivalries with her cousin Elizabeth I and her court. This is a well researched fictional account of that struggle, well written and a quick read.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    powerfully written, but not well written

    This book is written with vehemence but is not well written. I really disdain the way that Mary Queen of Scots is painted.She takes the angle that Bothwell raped Mary and the truth of the romance is eclipsed.Bothwell is an amazing figure, and he isn't even part of this book other than the letters she writes. I also dislike the format, going back and forth between three perspectives because it really doesn't connect the way it should. The vocabulary is simple and there's no imagery. You can't escape with this book. I literally had to force myself to pick it up and finish it, whereas Margaret George's books I couldn't put down. Philippa Gregory may be a big name, but just because her books are popular doesn't mean they are quality.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2012

    This is without question the most tedious read in Philippa Grego

    This is without question the most tedious read in Philippa Gregory's library of books. Billed as "the untold story" there really were few surprises. If you have read even a smattering of English and French history you would know that Mary Stuart is a spoiled, vain and charming woman, and royal many times over... the Queen of Scotland, as daughter of James V, the Queen of France, through marriage to Francois II, and the legitimate heir to the English throne, as grand niece of Henry VIII. But though she is body royal, she is also despised in all three of her lands. Her mother in law, Catherine de Medici, former queen of France and now regent of France, despises her. The Lords of Scotland have driven her out of their country and forced her to abdicate. And her cousin Elizabeth I distrusts her and is housing her as a prisoner/guest with the Lord and Lady of Shrewsbury, the highest lord in England, while her adviser William Cecil (and his assorted spies) watch Mary and collect evidence that will lead to her downfall.

    The book is told from three different perspectives. Mary Stuart, George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury and Mary's jailer "host" who falls under her spell, and his wife, Bess of Hardwick, a self made woman who has married up 4 times and is now a woman of wealth and land. Bess and George are newlyweds when Mary Stuart arrives, but the strain and expense of housing their queenly guest tears their marriage and finances asunder. The most interesting chapters are the ones told from Bess's perspective. She has a longtime friendship with spymaster Cecil and is the only one who sees the inevitability of Mary's destruction.

    The only surprise in this book is the fact that Gregory decided to paint Elizabeth R in such a negative light, as a pawn of William Cecil and a desperately vain and insecure woman who is motivated in part by jealousy. The other surprise is how few pages were spent on the death of Mary, in contrast to that of her betrothed, Thomas Howard, the earl of Norfolk. (yes, one of *those* doomed Howards. It is a family tradition for them to be sent to the Tower. His father, Henry Howard (earl of Surrey) also met with the block, and his grandfather came close to being beheaded several times.) I can believe that Elizabeth agonized far more over the death of Thomas Howard than over that of Mary Stuart.

    All in all, this book was an adequate read, but not really an enjoyable one. If you are looking for another Philippa Gregory page turner, this isn't it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2012

    good historical drama

    After reading a couple of biographies and becoming familiar with Mary’s story, I was ready for a fictional drama about her life. This novel focuses on Mary’s life after Lord Darnley’s murder and mostly revolves around her imprisonment in the custody of George Talbot and his wife, Bess. The story is told from three points of view and that makes it sort of confusing. I would have liked to have seen it told from Mary’s viewpoint. Not the best book by Philippa Gregory, but overall I enjoyed it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    An interesting read!

    I love reading Philippa Gregory's books on the Tudors! She puts so much fact into it and it really takes you back 500 years. It was a very interesting read into that time in England. Pretty easy to follow considering the story is told by 3 different people. A Tudor must read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2008

    Finally the other story!

    I have always wanted to know the story of Queen Mary. The Tudor lineage runs in her, yet she is denied the throne of England. At least she should of waited her turn, and kept her followers down and quiet instead of creating a huge storm that would end in a tear of the family. This book speaks what went on, the truth, and all the back ways to the truth.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Other Queen

    Philippa Gregory is an author that just seems to get better with each book that she writes and The Other Queen is no acceptation. The Other Queen recounts the first three years of Mary Queen of Scots imprisonment in England by her cousin Elizabeth I. Queen Mary is placed in the guardianship of newlywed George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury and Bess of Hardwick. The Scots Queen quickly becomes an unwelcome guest as she plots for her freedom and the overthrown of her royal cousin and drives a wedge between Talbot and his self made wife. The novel is full of intrigue and scandal and I found to be a fun read. One of Gregory's best!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    A reviewer

    This was more than disappointing. The other books in this series are oustanding and I pre-ordered this book b/c I was so excited to read it. Snooze!! I couldn't even finish it. It was WAY too long and way too repetitive, which is a bad combo. Not worth the time.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Good book

    Tells a good story. Following along is easy. I like Mary Queen of Scots the character.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2012

    Good but not my favorite of Gregory's books.

    I didn't know much about all three of the main characters and I enjoyed learning about them through the book. But I definitely felt like the book was dragging on. I didn't really connect with the characters or the love story. I still gave it three stars for enlightening me on the lives of Mary Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    not her best

    Of all the Phillipa Gregory books I have read this was my least favorite. The story was slow in developing and I kept waiting for something to happen but it pretty much ended as it began. The writing was not bad and the characters were interesting I was just not crazy about the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    Didnt finish it.

    I have read many novels by this author, but this was the first I didnt finish. It was slow and failed to keep my interest. I wanted to love it, but decided I had better things to do. Watch paint dry, boil some water......

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2011

    Liked it, but didn't love it

    I enjoyed this book, however I did feel a little left hanging. The story resolves itself and is well-spoken, but also doesn't quite feel complete. I'd recommend this book to young women who enjoy historical fiction without too much romance. I'm an avid Philippa Gregory reader, but I don't think this was one of her better books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Somewhat disappointing

    First of all let me say, I am a HUGE Philippa Gregory fan, however this book was very difficult to read. It was told in first person by 3 different people so it was hard to follow. It was interesting historically but was very hard to actually fall in love with any of the characters because just when you thought you were getting to know them, the story changed to another point of view.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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