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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The master of the alternate history, Harry Turtledove, has done it again -- this time visiting Elizabethan England. The twist here is that Queen Elizabeth is a prisoner in her own land, hidden away in the Tower of London; King Philip II of Spain rules England. After nine years of Spanish domination, England is a changed place. The English Inquisition has killed many Protestants, political dissidents, and unrepentant sinners. The people of England live in fear and must watch their every word.
Playwright William Shakespeare has survived safely thus far, but when he is commissioned by a powerful group still loyal to Elizabeth to write a revolutionary play that puts his life in danger, he must choose between life under Spanish rule or what certainly will be a heroic death.
Fans of Harry Turtledove will find this offering much different than his epic WorldWar and Darkness series. Unlike those books, Ruled Britannia is a stand-alone novel that doesn't have a cast of hundreds and multiple narrative points of view. Turtledove instead focuses on the characters of Shakespeare and Lope Felix de Vega Carpio, a Spanish lieutenant who enjoys the theater almost as much as he enjoys seducing English women. Paul Goat Allen