The dysfunctional royal family
The King's Daughter - Christie Dickason
Member Name: Gemma_C
The King's Daughter - Christie Dickason
Advantages: I loved the period of time it was set in, the description of this time was well written.
Disadvantages: A bit bland at at times, annoying, Elizabeth lets the book down.
Elizabeth is tragically robbed of Henry, and summons all her courage to help forge her future. Unsure whether her father was behind her brother's death, and coping with his unpredictability, Elizabeth begins to worry her once chance for happiness, and even her life, could be destroyed.
When this book was offered to me on the Amazon Vine programme I jumped at the chance to give it a read. I love British historical fiction, especially one involving royalty, and this sounded like just my thing. The book is mostly first person from the eyes of Elizabeth from around 1605 to her marriage in 1613. It does have the occasional small chapter written in the eyes of one of the other characters, but this is not too often. For the most part the book flowed along nicely and whilst it does span a decent amount of years, I never felt as if it jumped suddenly or left things unanswered.
I had never fiction based on this time in history, and it was good to see how the infamous Gunpowder plot was unearthed and Dickson did a good job of writing about how paranoid the King becomes, and just how unsettled the state of Britain was, with the threat of catholic uprisings. I enjoyed all historical facts throughout this book, whether large of small details, and I could tell the book was well researched. Despite this, I do have some rather large complaints with how Dickason portrayed the character of Elizabeth. From the start Dickason portrays Elizabeth as a young innocent girl, oblivious to the role she must play as being a royal daughter. She's also quite bland and at times I did get frustratingly bored of reading her thoughts, which could go on quite a bit, I would often skip paragraphs or sometimes even pages of blather which was not interesting at all. A large part of the book is about who Elizabeth will marry, and it was not believable that Elizabeth did not realise she would be used politically when finding a suitor for her. Again the whole concept of love is mentioned, however at the time Elizabeth would have understood she would not have a say in the matter, and that her marriage wouldn't be for love but for the good of England, with deals being made without her discussion.
Another huge part of the book which frustrated me was her friendship with Tallie. The problem is that Tallie is black and back then everyone was racist. It seems unbelievable that everyone around her would be racist, including her ladies in waiting, and that she wouldn't. Not only because of this time in history, but also because if you are brought up in such a way, and with everyone around you behaving in this way because it's normal to them, I could not see how innocent Elizabeth would be any different. Instead she becomes best friends with Tallie, pushing her old friend Anne aside, and from them on they're 'partners in crime' where Tallie manages to sneak Elizabeth to whore houses, and dress her up as a man so she can sneak into the Kin g's chambers and few paintings of possible suitors, these are just a couple of the antics they get up to, and yet Dickason still makes Elizabeth innocent and bland, and still a rather boring character to read.
Other characters in the book are more interesting, the drunken King James who prefers to do nothing but hunt, or her bitter Mother who hates life and everyone around her, there's many other interesting characters along the way too, and it's a shame Elizabeth wasn't as more an interesting character as the others around her. She was extremely close to her brother, yet I also found him slightly bland like her, and so I couldn't really warm to him and felt no loss when he died.
Whilst I did have a good few problems with the book, I did enjoy reading it due to the time period it was set in, and because I'm interested in that time. If I wasn't, then it would be a different story and I probably wouldn't have much good to say for the book. On this note I would recommend this book to people who enjoy reading fiction set around this period in history, otherwise I would give it a miss.
This book is published by Harper and is available from Amazon.
Summary: An interesting read if you enjoy historical fiction, but can be boring in parts.