Customer Reviews for

The Virgin's Lover

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Good characters, overall a good read

First things first. I recommend you read The Queen's Fool before reading this one. It contains a bit background information and a bit of a foundation to carry you over to The Virgin's Lover. It's not necessary but it's nice to have that extra bit of info in the small mo...
First things first. I recommend you read The Queen's Fool before reading this one. It contains a bit background information and a bit of a foundation to carry you over to The Virgin's Lover. It's not necessary but it's nice to have that extra bit of info in the small moments where the book makes a reference to the past. Besides, The Queen's Fool was a good book so why would you not want to read it? :)

There's plenty of intrigue and double crossing in here, so if you're really into that this is the book for you. I love that stuff. I love seeing characters you don't like get the axe because they were too careless and got double crossed. It's just so satisfying. Which brings me to this other point.

I hate Robert Dudley.

Everything about him made me want to grind my teeth, made me want to jump into the book and punch him in the gonads, or made me want to run a lance into him. I just can't stand the guy. He oozes sliminess and his ambition is just way over the top it made you want to roll your eyes and slap him across the head with a sledgehammer. His arrogance made me want to scream. He was all right at first but once you saw past his true colors you just wanted to curl your lip in disgust at the guy. Either I need serious help, or Ms. Gregory just did a wonderful job at character development and creation here. :P I have never hated a character so much until I came across Robert Dudley.

Amy (Dudley's wife) made you want to cringe because she was everything you didn't want her to be. She was the epitome of submissive wife. There were moments where she finally grew a backbone (and you had to cheer for her during those times) but you just can't help but pity the poor woman. Of all the characters in the book I sympathized with Amy the most. It was just painful to see her pain and suffering and the way she fawned at Dudley made you want to pity her, but at the same time be quite disgusted with her. She admirable though. She put up with a lot of issues and crap for that time.

It's hard to decide how I feel about Elizabeth. She's whiny. She's NEEDY. She's clingy. She nearly made me want to jab something in my eye. However there were moments where I thought "Heeeey..she's not so stupid after all!" so it's very hard to see Elizabeth in a different view than what you usually see (usually as a very strong character who defied the Spanish Armada). So I thought it was difficult to like her in this novel. I was on the fence with her.

Overall, I thought it was a good read. There are romantic parts but not that explicit and quickly done and over with. So to me, they were tolerable. No battle scenes here which was unfortunate but wasn't really the main part of the subject anyway (this book rather focuses on Dudley and Elizabeth). The intrigue of court life was here as usual (all of Gregory's novels have it) so that was good to see. I just really enjoyed the character development and creation in this book.

posted by Sensitivemuse on July 16, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Interesting Take on History

Based on real historical figures, it is an easy read. However, not as well-written as her Boleyn books.

posted by daisy7 on May 31, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2009

    Interesting Take on History

    Based on real historical figures, it is an easy read. However, not as well-written as her Boleyn books.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    It's.......Ok

    When I read it, it kind of played out in my mind like a movie. It had the perfect, exact "play out" that you would see in a movie.

    But this book was just a little too movieish for me.

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  • Posted June 8, 2011

    ok

    ehhh this one was okay for me, unlike her other books in which i stay up late to continue reading and finish the book quick, this one took me quite a while to finish, it wasn't that addicting in my opinion. It got pretty boring after awhile it was the same thing over again. The book would often switch too: the lustful relationship of Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley and them the heartbreak life of Roberts wife, Amy. It just got boring after a while.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2011

    Just OK

    I really enjoy reading historical fiction and it is my opinion that "The Other Boelyn Girl" was one of the best. In Philippa Gregory's follow-up, The Virgin's Lover", I was not near as impressed. As usual, Philippa does an amazing job with her historical research and she does write well, however, I felt as though this particular story was very slow and drawn out. However, it did leave me to question whether or not there ever was or has been a King or Queen that embodied integrity or kind and gentle spirit? Surely, Elizabeth 1 did not.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not her best....

    This book is not as well-written as Gregory's other novels in the series. I loved "The Constant Princess", "The Other Boleyn Girl", and "The Boleyn Inheritance". They are the sort of books that you can't put down. I'm having a hard time finishing "The Virgin's Lover". It seems slow-moving(even though not that much time has passed in the story), the characters are boring, and the historical parts do not captivate. Since I work full-time, I read when I can, and usually finish a book in about 2 weeks. So far, I think I've been on this book a month! I will finish because I don't like to leave a book unread, and I look forward to reading the next book, "The Other Queen". I'm hoping that one will follow in the footsteps of the rest of the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2008

    Not as good as 'The Other Boleyn Girl'

    I read this book as I am very interested in the Tudor time period. It was a good book but most of the time I felt as if it was dragging.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2008

    enjoyable

    I like Phillipa Gregory's style of writing. The one thing I enjoy about her books is the historical facts with the fiction woven in. There were so many 'players' for a few hundred years either on the Throne or the attempts to get on the Throne of England. The way she writes, it helps bring out the various people during those specific time periods - she just doesn't 'touch' on parts of history - she brings everything out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2005

    Disappointed

    The book was enjoyable and well-written except for the way Ms. Gregory paints Queen Elizabeth as a shallow slave to her passions, unable to say no to Lord Dudley. Perhaps Ms. Gregory was intending to show the strength of Queen Elizabeth's love for Lord Dudley by making her out to be like a silly schoolgirl, but I think that a woman as strong and as far ahead of her time as Queen Elizabeth was deserves to be remembered better.

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