Friday, 27 May 2016

The Virgin's Spy by Laura Andersen

Title: The Virgin's Spy
Series: Tudor Legacy (#2)
Author: Laura Andersen
From: Netgalley
Genre: Alternative History
Release Date: 10th November 2015
Challenges: 2016 Blogger Shame, 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points) My TBR List
Links: Goodreads - Amazon 

*May contain spoilers for the previous book in the series and The Boleyn Trilogy*

With Elizabeth I now divorced from Phillip of Spain, their daughter Anabel is ideally placed to make a marriage for the good of England. But Kit Courtney, younger son of Dominic and Minuette, has a hard time seeing Anabel as the Princess of Wales but knows he should keep that to himself. Meanwhile the elder brother, Stephen, finds himself embroiled in the plots and action in Ireland while trying to remain true to himself, his Queen and his family.

I had forgotten how addictive these books are! Even after you've finished reading them they stay with you. I'm still not too sure that I'm as attached to the second generation of Andersen's characters, but that's probably because I loved Dominic and Minuette so much (and they're still in this book so it's fine!)

Before I started The Boleyn Trilogy (the series before this one, though the series could be read independantly they are linked in a lot of ways) I wasn't sure about alternative history as a genre, but Andersen captures the intricacies and politics of the Tudor court while adding her own flair and characters. It's engaging and addictive, and you do end up involved in the characters far too much!

The Virgin's Spy (and the other books in the series) rely on changes in history surrounding Anne Boleyn and the idea that her second child, a son, lived. Elizabeth I was crowned as history told but after her brother William and not her half-sister Mary (their half-brother Edward never having existed). Elizabeth then married Phillip of Spain (instead of Mary) and had a daughter, Anabel. I'm not sure how Andersen's history will come back in line with real events, but I have a few ideas that won't break my heart too much!

While the main characters from the previous book are more settled, they are less focused on in this book, and the story moves on to the three younger Courtney children (Stephen, the heir, and the twins Kit and Pippa) as well as Elizabeth's daughter, Anabel. Each character is holding secrets, particularly about what is in their hearts, and that has left them in some dubious situations!

I don't really want to say any more because it would ruin it! But this book was a brilliant addition to the series and I look forward to reading more!