Review 171. Barbara Kyle – Blood between queens.

15817011Title: Blood between queens.
Author: Barbara Kyle.
Pages: 400.
Published: April 30th 2013 by Kensington
Sort: Part 5 of ‘Thornleigh’
Source: Netgalley & publisher.
Following her perilous fall from a throne she’d scarcely owned to begin with, Mary, Queen of Scots, has fled to England, hoping her cousin, Queen Elizabeth, will grant her asylum. But now Mary has her sights on the English crown, and Elizabeth enlists her most trusted subjects to protect it. Justine Thornleigh is delighting in the thrill of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to her family’s estate when the festivities are cut short by Mary’s arrival. To Justine’s surprise, the Thornleighs appoint her to serve as a spy in Mary’s court. But bearing the guise of a lady-in-waiting is not Justine’s only secret. The weight of her task is doubled by fears of revealing to her fiancé that she is in truth the daughter of his family’s greatest rival. Duty-bound, Justine must sacrifice love as she navigates a deadly labyrinth of betrayal that could lead to the end of Elizabeth’s fledgling reign…
Rating

Most Tudors books are a success for me, but this one lacked of something. I missed the spark and I couldn’t connect with the story or the characters. This could be my own fault, because I didn’t know this was the 5th part in a series when I requested it on Netgalley. I decided to read it anyway and it’s definitely a stand-alone, but it might be the reason for my disconnection. This resulted in the fact that I wasn’t sucked into the story. I was aware of the fact that I was reading a story, instead of being part of it.

It was also far too long for my taste. It would have been much better with 100 pages less. There are a couple of characters and the story is split between their lives. The most important character is Justine, who is the daughter of a dead traitor. She grew up with the Thornleigh family as one of them. When she and Will fall in love, she is afraid to tell him the truth: Will hates her true family with a fierce passion. Justine is used as a spy when Mary (Queen of Scotland) flees to England to find help. Justine, naive as she is, starts to trust her. She doesn’t know that Mary conspires with Justine’s father to overthrow Elizabeth.

I wasn't only disconnected from the characters, some of they annoyed me incredibly. Justine *face palm* She believes everyone without thinking. I wish she had more brains instead of blind faith in the goodness of people. Then there is Will, who loves her but doesn't want to marry her because of her name: he has a blind hate for her family. I see why, but this girl is nothing like her father and she grew up in a different family. She is a Thornleigh, no matter where she came from. It's just strange that people are so easy with their love.

This story is stretched over 400 pages and the writing-style was just okay. The plot was good, but the story wasn't interesting enough to capture my attention. I kept waiting for the climax and that is never a good sign. Overall, just a ‘meh’ story. There isn't much I can say about it.

13 comments

  1. You are not the first one I saw with a bad rating for this book, Mel :) I think I'll definitely skip it.

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    1. Really? After I wrote my review I went to Goodreads, but a lot of people seemed to like it. I'm happy that I'm not the only one then!

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  2. Sounds like this was a difficult one to finish, so congrats to that! I don't read a lot of historical novels so this doesn't stick out to me...but I hate when characters believe everything so easily. They should grow a bit more!

    -Lauren

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    1. Yes, but it wasn't so bad that I couldn't finish it. I think that does means something :p

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  3. Aw, sorry this didn't work out for you. Naivety in characters is one thing, but everyone's bound to get annoyed if the character is too naïve. And eh, stories that drag on and on never go well with me. Steering away from this one, for sure, so thanks for the honesty! Hope your next read is better. :)

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    1. You're welcome. I'm enjoying my book at the moment, so yes, it's better :)

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  4. The cover doesn't look like my type of thing, firstly. And the characters just sound down right frustrating. Shame to see that you did not enjoy this one.

    Great review nonetheless, Mel! <33

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  5. Urrghhh it's such a pity this didn't cut it for you. I tend to enjoy all Tudor novels, but I'm not sure if I'll ever try this. I tend to prefer Tudor novels that focuses on either Mary/Elizabeth as opposed to (I'm assuming) a fictional character. Thanks for the honest review, Mel!<3

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    1. Yes, I believe this was (at least most of it) fictional.

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  6. Too bad that it wasn't great..I like Tudor novels as well!

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    1. I can think of many other titles I liked. I hope my next Tudor is better :D

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  7. How disappointing! I’ve been trying to get my hands on a good Tudor-centric historical fiction lately. (I’m really not a fan of the Tudors, but so much is written about them I figure it’s worth trying, haha.) The story does sound promising, but when things are dragged out and you can’t connect with the characters..not good.

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