Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Virgin's Daughter by Laura Andersen

Title: The Virgin's Daughter
Series: The Tudor Legacy (#1)
Author: Laura Andersen
From: Netgalley
Genre: Alternative History
Release Date: 19th May 2015
Challenges: 2015 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2015 New Release Challenge, COYER Scavenger Hunt
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Since Lucette Courtney was told about her questionable parentage she has been at odds with her father, Dominic. Queen Elizabeth I will use everyone she can to her advantage, and that includes her potential niece. With the Nightingale plot in full force, Lucette finds herself sent to France, where Nicolas and Julien LeClerc, the sons of her parents' French friend. Trying to uncover the plot leads to complications of the heart that even Lucette hadn't forseen...

It took me a couple of chapters to really get into The Virgin's Daughter, and I'm not sure why, potentially because of how much I loved The Boleyn Trilogy, and I was a little bit worried about if I would enjoy it as much. As soon as I got into it though I loved The Virgin's Daughter and reading about the next generation.

Though there were moments where the story was focused on the previous characters, Elizabeth, Minuette and Dominic, most of the book focused on their children's stories; Anne (Elizabeth's daughter with Philip of Spain), Lucette, Stephen, Kit and Pippa (Minuette and Dominic's children). I liked the way that the children interacted with each other, and that their parents' past friendships had influenced them.

As the book progressed it became clear of the romantic connections for several of the children; Anne, Kit and Lucette being the clearest, though I am wondering about what could happen for Pippa and Stephen. The romance was only a small part of the book though, there was so much more going on than just that.

Even though Andersen's Tudors are an alternative version than the ones that really existed, I think she once again did a fantastic job of creating the politics and drama of the court on all levels. Similarly the interactions between the characters worked well and in line with the times even if some of the characters themselves shouldn't have existed.

I love the way that Andersen uses events from the past and spins them in a different way in order to fit with her Alternative world without deviating too much. In this book it was mostly the alternative marriage between Philip of Spain and Elizabeth (as opposed to her sister Mary, who in Andersen's world never reigned) and the antagonistic role that Mary Queen of Scots played.

Reading order wise, The Virgin's Queen could be read alone. It is the start of a new series, but the events do follow on from the events in The Boleyn Trilogy, so it would make more sense if those books were read first (i.e. it would be easier to understand the events leading to Lucette's birth, why Mary I never reigned and the relationships between the older characters).

The main romance revolved around Lucette and the LeClerc brothers, who were the centre of the Nightingale investigation, it worked well though it was difficult to determine who it was that was really guilty. It dragged me in and I couldn't help but hope for who was the guilty one.

I loved this book, just like I loved Andersen's previous series!