It has been a long wait between drinks in this Tudor trilogy by Jane Caro. But the wait has been worth it.
Just A Girl was a tremendously good read in 2011. Four years later, Just A Queen surpassed my very high expectations.
Caro has written a thoroughly researched, thoroughly convincing version of Elizabeth’s first 25 years or so as Queen of England.
She uses the same device as she did in Just A Girl, whereby Elizabeth reminisces about the events leading up to the main purpose of the story.
In Just A Queen this purpose is all about the execution of Queen Mary of Scotland in 1587.
Caro has written a novel based on real events. Some of her dialogue references authentic documents, but most of the emotion, motivations and discussions are fictionalised.
Elizabeth is a strong, dynamic, complex protagonist. Caro takes the time to show us how daunting it must have been for a woman to rule during such patriarchal times. She gives us some insight into the daily life of women during Elizabethan times – just enough to make us truly thankful for our more enlightened, modern times.
Just A Queen ticks all my boxes – fabulous fictionalised history, a fascinating female character, well written and an engaging story from start to finish.
This book is classified as teen/YA, but it’s perfectly satisfying fare for anyone who loves their Tudor/Elizabethan history in any way shape of form.
I just hope that Caro doesn’t make us wait four more years for the final book in this “big, hairy, audacious” trilogy.