Sunday, 20 February 2011
Review: The Queen's Lady by Eve Edwards
The second Lacey romance sees a shift in focus from disgraced alchemist's daughter Ellie and teenage Earl Will, to their former friend Lady Jane, who secretly risked her own future to ensure their happiness. While hers is another richly drawn Elizabethan love story, the novel as a whole has a wider scope than the first book in the series. In The Other Countess, it's Will Lacey's need to marry for money that threatens to thwart his affections for impoverished Ellie. Though money is once again an issue in this second instalment - this time for teenage Marchioness Jane and younger Lacey brother James - The Queen's Lady also delves a little deeper into the prejudices of the time as in a subplot African servant Diego falls for English dressmaker Milly. In addition, Eve Edwards takes us out of Elizabeth's court and into the sights and sounds of Tudor London itself - not to mention all the way to the 'new world' of America.
As in The Other Countess, Eve Edwards does a spectacular job of recreating an authentic Tudor setting, but again what really impresses is the way that her characters speak to the modern reader. We no longer live in a world where the eldest son is heir to the family estate and second sons like James have to make their own way, but we do live in a world where his experiences in an overseas war will resonate with the young adult audience. And while her female leads hail from a society that places certain constraints upon them, within those limitations they're all impressively independent, individual and blazing with integrity - and all worthy subjects for a ruler as formiddable as Queen Elizabeth, that's for sure.
The Queen's Lady is a welcome return to Eve Edwards' sumptuous Tudor world-building and swoon-worthy romance. The main pairings are every bit as compelling as Will and Ellie from the first book, and endearing illegitimate Lacey brother Kit's story is nicely set up for the sequel - which, having finished this one, I know I won't be able to resist. This is historical romance to lose yourself in.
Out: February 3rd 2011, UK
Many thanks to Razorbill UK for providing a review copy of this book.