The King's Daughter: A Novel

The King's Daughter: A Novel

by Christie Dickason

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061976278
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/23/2010
Pages: 468
Sales rank: 1,140,114
Product dimensions: 7.92(w) x 11.70(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

Christie Dickason, Harvard-educated, is a former theater director and choreographer with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She is the author of The Firemaster's Mistress and lives in London with her family.

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The King's Daughter 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Mirella More than 1 year ago
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.
BookReviewsByMolly More than 1 year ago
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, too!
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
zibilee on LibraryThing 3 days ago
Elizabeth Stuart is a precocious young woman who must live by the whims of her father, King James I of England. Early in her adolescence, when a stranger attempts to kidnap her and force her to take the throne and overthrow the king, Elizabeth is more than shaken and fears that her knowledge of this plot will constitute treason in her father's severe opinion. Though she has a close relationship with her brother Henry, the heir to the throne, Elizabeth is kept mostly secluded with only her ladies in waiting to entertain and inform her. Though she's still very young, her father is constantly reminding her of her duties to the throne and repeatedly dangles her hand to foreign powers to solidify relations between England and other countries. Though Elizabeth frets and chafes under her enforced ignorance, little by little she learns the ways of the English court and gleans information about her ersatz suitors. But King James, having taken the throne by the murder of his own mother, fears his children and worries they will one day usurp his position. This is why both must stay locked away, powerless, and live a life suspiciously regarded by the king. When Elizabeth finally meets a suitor who pleases her, she must fight with all her might to get her father to agree to the match and enlist the help of a very dangerous man in the court to press her suit. Filled with the intrigue of King James' court, The King's Daughter follows the life of Elizabeth Stuart, from her early days as a willful child of the king to her final triumph in the throes of royal romance.I've read a lot of historical fiction in the past few years, and one thing I love most about this genre is the books that are devoted to royal intrigue. There's something exciting about reading about the furtive movements of those in court and the grandiosity of kings and queens. I love to read the tales of those noble and not so noble, living in a time so far removed from me, and often find myself helplessly caught up within these kinds of books. This was a particularly good example of the genre, and though it did have some of the hallmarks of Philippa Gregory, there was far less bodice ripping going on within it, which is something I was really thankful for.From the outset, it was easy to see that Elizabeth was nothing but a pawn of her father. Though she was growing into womanhood and had desires and wishes of her own, her father looked at her in one of two lights: as a dangerous possible usurper to the throne, or as a brooding mare to trade off to another country. Elizabeth had every right to be upset with her fate, but what bothered her most is that she was kept in the dark about almost everything for a good part of her life. It wasn't until she began to send spies out, who learned about everything from her father's alleged trysts with young male courtiers to the arrangements of her marriage, that Elizabeth began to have some power and control in her own life. She was very willful like her father, but much softer and kinder, in a way that impressed and endeared her to me.The portrayal of King James in this novel was not at all flattering. Coming as he did from Scotland, he spoke with a thick Scottish brogue, and was largely a very crude and corpulent man. He drank to excess and was nearly always in a vile and threatening temper. He maintained a suspicious air around not only his children, but his wife and his advisers as well. As I mentioned before, he spent most of his time wooing the male courtiers and was jealously attached to a few, who used this favor to procure titles and lands. I didn't like James. He was crude, improper and scarcely able to run even the smallest of households with grace.The relationship between Elizabeth and her brother Henry was a touching reminder that all things in the king's realm were not perverse and diabolical. The two were often separated, but until the final act that drove them apart in the novel's closing, they remained each other's confidant
hpelke02 on LibraryThing 3 days ago
In the court of King James I of England, no one is safe from the whims of the paranoid, jealous, and unpredictable King-not even his children Prince Henry of Wales and daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth longs for the approval and affection of her father but as she grows into young womanhood she soon comes to realize she serves only one person in her father's eyes-to be used as a pawn in the marriage market to secure his dream of being the Great Peacemaker by using his children to unite the Catholics and Protestants. After being subjected to several humiliating audiences where she is paraded in front of potential suitors Elizabeth becomes determined to make her own destiny instead of waiting around for her father to marry her off and ship her away from her beloved brother and England. Her resolve strengthens when she meets Frederick, the Elector Palatine, the one suitor out of all she thinks she can be happy with. Elizabeth now must figure out how to outwit her father to end up with the man she loves. Her one ally is Tallie, a slave girl bought for Elizabeth by the Queen who yearns for her freedom. The Princess and the slave girl join together in the bond of friendship as both hope to achieve their happy endings.This is the first book I recall that focuses on one of the Stuarts. The first 100 pages or so introduces us to Elizabeth and her brother Henry and the Gunpowder plot whose aim was to kill James I, kidnap Elizabeth, and put her on the throne in his place. I found this section of the novel to be very slow moving and was having an extremely difficult time getting into the novel at this point. It wasn't until Elizabeth was moved to court and the slave girl Tallie entered the picture that the book picked up. Tallie was a very interesting character-unwilling to reveal her past on the streets of Southwark and completely reluctant to trust Elizabeth. The strong point of the story was watching their friendship grow as Tallie spied on behalf of Elizabeth and became the only person the lonely Princess could rely on to tell her absolutely anything she wanted to know-including what relations between men and women really involved. Tallie provided the spark in this book. You couldn't help but feel sorry for Elizabeth-paraded before insensitive diplomats and boorish suitors while dealing with her insanely jealous father who thought everything was a plot to dethrone him. It was not an enviable relationship. Elizabeth's love story with Frederick and her quest to marry him was fairly well done. They seemed to develop a pretty strong connection to each other rather quickly.There were several problem areas in this book in addition to the first 1/4 being slowly paced and not really interesting. The main issue for me were the supporting characters. Elizabeth adores her brother Prince Henry but he wasn't really developed all that well. Neither is her mother Anne of Denmark. Other characters seemed off to me. James was portrayed as highly intelligent but also spent much of the book as a drunken lout who was more concerned with fawning over the pretty boys in his court and hunting than ruling. Basically in this version he left all the hard work to Robert Cecil and Francis Bacon who duked it out for power. Although he would be no means win a Mr. Congeniality or father of the year award, there were some redeeming qualities about the man and his reign wasn't entirely bad. This doesn't show here though. James is just the villain here. I had the same problem with Elizabeth's younger brother Charles (later Charles I). He goes from being baby Charles the inconsequential and somewhat slow child to an overindulged brat a few years down the line. I found myself thinking "This kid becomes the future king???).Overall it was an interesting once it got going and Tallie was introduced but I'm still on the fence as to whether it was good enough to slog through the first hundred pages in order to get to the better parts. Some books if you stick with them long enough
Crittercrazyjen on LibraryThing 3 days ago
The King's Daughter by Christie Dickason is a novel about Elizabeth, the daughter of King James I of England. The novel covers Elizabeth's youth, concluding with her marriage to Frederick V.Although I am an avid reader of historical fiction, I admittedly tend to gravitate toward novels about the Tudors. I've never read a book about any of the Stuarts before. I found this novel to be an enjoyable introduction to the Stuarts. It definitely makes me want to read more about this fascinatingly dysfunctional family.I found some of the relationships, particulary the relationship between Elizabeth and her elder brother Henry, to be well developed and fascinating. Through her writing, Ms. Dickason made the special bond between these two believable and heartwarming. However, I didn't find the relationship between Elizabeth and her black servant Tallie to be very believable. Elizabeth's attitude toward Tallie seemed to be too modern and PC to be believable for the era. The general attitude in those days toward such servants was much less genial. Though Ms. Dickason did a good job of making James I an extraordinarily unlikeable antagonist, I found his character to be too one dimensional to feel real. Everyone has some good in them, no matter how disagreeable and cruel they can be. However, the reader was never given a glimpse of any remotely redeeming characteristics James I may have had. I also found some of the scenes to be far-fetched, such as the scene where Elizabeth and Tallie dress as men and sneak out to Southwark to visit a brothel. Surely, with so many people at court, one person at least would have recognized the disguised princess, or at the very least known her and her companion for women. Even if they could have managed to evade detection, I have a hard time believing that a princess would sneak out to run off to such a base and lowly place. All that being said, I did thoroughly enjoy this novel for the most part. Every step of the way, my heart ached for the young Elizabeth and all the trials she was put through. Being treated as little more than chattel to be sold to the highest bidder by a cold and uncaring father would be a horrifying and heartbreaking ordeal for any young woman to go through. I would definitely recommend this novel to any historical fiction lovers.
BookAddictDiary on LibraryThing 3 days ago
The King's Daughter tells the story of James I's oldest daughter Elizabeth. While Elizabeth knows that she's spent her entire life preparing for the marriage market, she dreads the day when she'll be married off to the wealthiest and most beneficial suitor. Elizabeth is constantly paraded in front of marriage brokers and threatened to be shipped off to another country. She longs for freedom, but is forced to battle the brutal politics of court while finding a path in life that makes her happy.Now, I'll admit that I was happy to have something a little different here. Instead of exploring the constantly-discussed world of Tudor England, author Christie Dickason instead uses the daughter of James I of the Stuarts, who was Elizabeth Tudor's Scottish successor.But, The King's Daughter is just as confusing and pointless as it sounds. From the moment I started the book up until the very end, I felt like I was fighting a constant uphill battle with myself. Frankly, I just didn't want to keep reading. The writing was fairly amateur, the setting was incredibly blurry, the dialog felt a little out-of-period and I constantly felt like the plot had no real goal.I really hate to be so harsh here. I mean -I really wanted to like this book. Heck, I even ordered it all the way from England to give it a whirl, but it just didn't work for me. In fact, I feel like I finished the book just to justify the fact that I spent money on it.Yeah....hard to believe, but give this one a miss.
macart3 on LibraryThing 3 days ago
Elizabeth is the daughter of King James VI and I, who is using her as a game bit in the world political stage in Europe. He also keeps her in the dark, but Elizabeth isn't passive like her mother, who has become embittered and distant from her children since they were separated from her, and uses her slave to ferret information. Some of the happening were a bit far-fetched, like Elizabeth stealing out of the castle in men's clothing (seems like every pre-women's lib movement heroine does this) and into a brothel to see what sex is like. The plot seems a little well-worn and characters a bit superfluous, like Frances Howard and Arabella Stuart (serving as a foil to Elizabeth). I like historical fiction, but I could leave this book.
Fourpawz2 on LibraryThing 3 days ago
Most likely the biggest news story of this past week (judging by the constant cooing and carrying on that ensued and persisted all the rest of the week in the worldwide media) was the announcement of the engagement between Prince William and Miss Kate. How lucky the Royals are these days. All that press attention is no more significant than the buzzing of a horde of troublesome gnats by comparison with the business of getting of married in the 17th century. The King¿s Daughter ¿ and William¿s ancestor, the eventual Elizabeth of Bohemia - had a much more difficult time of it, by far. Poor Elizabeth, second child of James VI and I and his Catholic wife Anne of Denmark, she is ignored by everyone except her beloved brother Henry, the Prince of Wales. Her mother seems to openly dislike her ¿ Anne¿s method of self-defense against the pain of separation from her children mandated by life as a royal mother. As for her father, King James of Bible fame, Elizabeth is a pawn, as is Henry, to his ambition. James, when not hunting (which is most of the time) is intent upon his legacy. He wants history to know him as the king who forged peace among and between the warring Protestant and Catholic countries of Europe and parceling his children out ¿ one for the Catholics and one for the Protestants ¿ is part of his means. He dangles both of them in front of any monarchs who might be in need of a mate for themselves or their children. Eliazbeth can never be certain what her father is thinking. All she knows for certain is that James is sly and dishonest and is afraid of both Henry and Elizabeth. Afraid that they are either consciously planning to usurp him or that they might be used by others to topple him from the throne. James is a pretty paranoid character, although, to be fair, given his upbringing, perhaps it isn¿t paranoia.I like the way Dickason handled her subject. Everything is tight and contained ¿ nothing big and sweeping here. Her elimination of the usual big ol¿ romantic stuff that might be expected was just perfect for this story. Instead, it was about waiting and not trusting anyone. Of being alone, with hardly anyone to depend upon but one¿s self. It¿s impossible to really know if this was truly how Elizabeth¿s life before marriage was, but if it was I hope she had a good life in the end. She certainly deserved it.
Kasthu on LibraryThing 3 days ago
I¿m reading historical fiction less and less lately, but when I found out about this one, I thought I¿d give it a try, since I¿ve enjoyed three of Christie Dickason¿s other novels. In this one, she remains in the seventeenth century, focusing on the life of Elizabeth, the daughter of James I. She and her brother were widely popular, so much so that their father tried to keep them away from the public as much as possible. This novel focuses on Elizabeth¿s early life, primarily with the arrangement of her marriage and all that that entails. Christie Dickason is a good writer, but there were some points in the novel where I found myself rolling my eyes. Elizabeth is a royal daughter, but in this book the author has her dressing in men¿s clothing and running off to brothels in Southwark. And nobody would have noticed this? Elizabeth¿s friendship with Tallie is interesting, but Elizabeth¿s attitude towards the musician is a little too PC to be believable. In fact, in many places, Elizabeth has a modern-day sensibility, especially when it comes to her impending marriage¿which she would have been brought up to expect. I never truly ¿bought¿ her as a living, breathing seventeenth-century person. I just didn¿t care for her in the end.I love the historical details that the author uses throughout, since she really knows the period she¿s writing about. However, there¿s way too much detail on clothing. Also, James I comes across as a drunken buffoon, which turns him into a one-dimensional character at times. There¿s a lot of name-dropping in this novel, but none of it really added to the plot. For example, the author gives her reader a full biography of Arbella Stuart, but her story adds nothing to the main plot. The novel moves at a very swift pace, but there were other chapters that were written from the point of view of another major character, which distracted from the overall flow of the book.
Travis1259 on LibraryThing 3 days ago
The King's Daughter surprises in many pleasant ways. It surely is a joy to read a historical novel with a sense of humor, although it portrays, some very dark moments. The relationship between a slave Tallie, and Elizabeth the daughter of James 1 , allows Dickason just the right combination to compare and contrast two women who were each not in command of their own destinies. But who strove to be as independent as possible. Both showed remarkable courage in attempting to reach their goals. It is not surprising to discover that Dickason was a choreographer when you read how these two characters dance around each other. Certainly a high light of the book.Also illuminating to me was the brutal depiction of James 1because I often wondered about the son of Mary, Queen of Scots once he became King of England. There is little to like in this novel's King James.Elizabeth suffers humiliation at her father's hands since he either ignores her or parades her about a number of suitors for her hand all for the sake of political alliance. On the rare occasions when they speak he has nothing good to say to her. Yet she persists in speaking her mind. And, in the end she succeeds in wedding the man she loves.For lovers of historical fiction , particularly English, this is a must read
philae_02 on LibraryThing 3 days ago
I was fortunate enough to receive this book as part of the Early Reviewers Program, and I must say that I learned quite a bit from this historical novel. I pride myself in knowing quite a bit about the Tudor dynasty, but I did not know so much about the Stuarts. The story is primarily about Princess Elizabeth Stuart, the eldest daughter of King James I of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The timeline of the novel covers her life from the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 to her marriage to Fredrick, the German Elector Palatine, in 1613. During these eight years, Elizabeth played the part of a royal daughter being sold off to the highest bidder throughout Europe. There was one particular scene where Elizabeth was posing for a portrait ¿ and her father and an ambassador duke were scrutinizing her like a prize dog or horse being sold at market ¿ that just captured the attitude towards royal women during that time (and times preceding and following) which makes me grateful that I live in the modern period. I also felt that Dickason created a despicable villain in the attitude and persona of James I as an overbearing and unloving father-figure who had absolute control over the lives of his children. Dickason researched the historical characters to give them a more compelling and convincing persona in her novel, which I enjoyed (although I would have liked if she would have listed her sources at the back, in case her readers wanted to learn more about Elizabeth). The author also mentioned at the end of the novel that there are not primary source documents describing who Elizabeth was as a person, so Dickason had to speculate about how the princess would have felt and acted given specific situations. This allowed Dickason to create a compelling and charismatic Elizabeth, who was able to keep her cool, even though she had to walk on egg shells constantly, given her easily-jealous father.
ReviewsbyMolly on LibraryThing 3 days ago
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,too!
Cariola on LibraryThing 3 days ago
Dickason's novel shares its title with a large number of lesser historical novels. That's unfortunate, because hers is neither a fairy tale nor a bodice-ripper, and it's quite well written to boot. Her princess, Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of King James I, is a bright and lively young woman whose father sees her alternately as a threat to his throne and a valuable bargaining chip in the royal marriage market. Dickason paints a fairly realistic portrait of what life must have been like for Elizabeth, shut away and kept under surveillance one day, trotted out like prize merchandise the next. She also gives us insight into Elizabeth's familial relationships: the mother who more or less abandoned her surviving children after the deaths of two others; her brother Henry, with whom she had a particularly close bond; "Baby Charles," weak in body, mind, and spirit; and, of course, James himself, a crude man given to irrational, violent moods whose fear for his life and throne was so extreme that he viewed his own children as threats. "Today I learned what I am." The King's Daughter opens with a brief prologue, Elizabeth's anxious reflections after being displayed at Whitehall to the envoy of a royal suitor (1610). Dickason then takes us to simpler days, when the princess was in the care of her guardians, Lord and Lady Harington, in Warwickshire, and moves us through the years to her 1613 marriage to Frederick, the Elector Palatine. Along the way, she explores many of the events that will be familiar to Stuart era buffs. (I won't list them here and spoil the surprise for anyone else!) Familiar personlities weave in and out of the plot: Robert Cecil, Francis Bacon, Robert Carr, Arbella Stuart, The Countess of Bedford, Frances Howard, and many others. On the more fantastical side, she creates Tallie, a mysterious black musician sent to the princess as a gift from her mother. Wary, shrewd, and wise in the ways of the world, when asked where she is from, Tallie will say only, "Southwark"--not exactly the answer Elizabeth expects. In the course of things, Tallie becomes first a dedicated servant and, finally, a true friend. While such a character would seem unlikely in the princess's household (not to mention the implausibility of several episodes involving her), The King's Daughter is, after all, a work of fiction, and Tallie definitely adds interest and excitement to the story.Overall, this was an fast-paced, engaging, and pleasurable read, and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.
PensiveCat on LibraryThing 3 days ago
I've read comparatively little of the early Stuart king of England, James I, and even less of his children besides Charles I. Now, at least, I can see the paranoia and mind games thrown around at that time that could easily have led to the downfall of the monarchy in the mid 17th century. James' daughter, Elizabeth, was known to me as the one who the kings and queens since the Georgian times have descended from, and I'd heard vague references to the Winter Queen when I read books about the Restoration period. Why few historical novelists have addressed her is beyond me. The King's Daughter covers Elizabeth's precarious existence and disfunctional relationship with her parents from the time of the Gunpowder plot (1605) to her marriage to Frederick, elector Palatine (1613). This is somewhat unusual for a historical novel - they usually cover at least a lifetime. I liked this departure, and would welcome a second book by Christie Dickason.Anyone who has the Disney view of princesses would be swiftly sobered up by Elizabeth's story. By paralleling her life with the fictional Thalia, a black slave, the reader can see that a royal woman is nothing more than an overdressed bargaining tool among nations - and one that needs to make babies as soon as possible. In addition, Elizabeth has to struggle to keep up in a game of cat and mouse with her father, while dealing with the cold hopelessness of her mother, relying only on her older brother Henry who had his own problems to deal with before his own untimely death. -that's not a spoiler, by the way, it's history.Even so, there was a mild feeling of a fairytale ending, after years of intrigue and various stages of conflict. Though not every moment was realistic, that's kind of the point of the genre.
TheLostEntwife on LibraryThing 3 days ago
As much as I love to read historical fiction and gravitate toward the stories of the British Royalty, every time I finish one of these books I have one single thought: I am so glad this wasn't me.Intrigue, betrayal, murder, lust and more are held within the pages of The King's Daughter by Christie Dickason. While some historical fiction books can get bogged down with names and make it difficult to follow (due to the constant use of the same names), the only thing confusing about this book was the name. Which King's daughter? So let me answer that for you: Elizabeth II, daughter of James I of Scotland, or James VI of England, the son of Mary, Queen of Scots. King James I was.. not a nice man, and Dickason paints him as being coarse, petulant and spoiled. When I picked up this story on the 5th of November and noticed the corresponding date on the inside, granted 1605, I had to laugh a little - because the treason of those actions played a central part in this book and the relationship between Elizabeth and her father.I admittedly do not know much about Elizabeth II or her brother, Henry, so it was interesting reading a story that was unfamiliar to me. I think Dickason did a beautiful job of telling the story of what her life would have been like, feeling as if she were gems or wealth to be bandied about, offered to this prince or that prince - whichever would make the best match for England. This book is told in the first person, from the perspective of a young, Elizabeth Stuart, but never once did I feel as if the book was a young adult novel, or meant to be one. Elizabeth is portrayed as having a young sort of wisdom, but still behaves without thought and, in some ways, very much resembles her father. ... and Christie Dickason? I'll be keeping my eye on this author. She did a beautiful job of writing this story and I look forward to seeing what else she has to offer.
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