Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle

Received for free through Goodreads First Reads.

‘…even when they are all turned to dust the stories will continue on through time – as endless as the sea.’

There are some parts that I really liked and some parts that I really didn’t like; it’s not a brilliant conveyance of my feelings but I feel very conflicted by this novel. First things first, this is a very well written novel, there is no doubt in my mind that Elizabeth Fremantle is a talented writer, although I did find this book a bit wordy at times (but maybe that was due to its historical nature). It was beautifully descriptive and the language was sumptuous and rich, but sometimes there were just too many words for my taste and the middle 200 pages seemed to drag endlessly when Katherine marries Henry.

But, the characters! Oh, wow, the characterisation is just fabulous, although the actual story dragged a little bit for me I adored the characters, especially Dot – Dot is five star worthy on her own, she is outstanding*. I just really love Dot. Full stop. Huicke, Udall and Katherine (most of the time) are also marvellous, and even the characters I detested (namely Seymour, damn you Seymour!) were wonderfully nasty, jealous and petty. Fremantle has really impressed me with the way she has written her characters, even ones already immortalised in history and many other novels.

I’m still reeling from how the novel ended, it annoyed me so much – Fremantle’s writing was still lovely but I really wanted the book to end differently.*

For the most part I enjoyed Queen’s Gambit, any book that elicits a strong reaction must be doing something right, but I think there was far too much politics and not enough sex and intrigue for my liking.

Read: March 9th-April 8th 2013

3.5/5 stars

*spoilers from Goodreads removed


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