The Red Queen's Daughter
Orphaned as a young girl because of the imprudent marriage of her mother, Queen Katherine Parr, Mary Seymour vows never to fall in love-and under no circumstances will she marry. Lady Strange, her mysterious guardian, offers the young woman an extraordinary alternative to marriage: Mary is to become a white magician who will join Queen Elizabeth's court and ensure the success of the Virgin Queen's reign.
Accompanied by her magical hound, Perseus, Mary sets out to learn the properties of different stones and the art and precision of natural spells. Soon after her sixteenth birthday, she joins Elizabeth's court as a lady-in-waiting. Upon her arrival, Mary realizes that Elizabeth's court is rife with men and women who are vying for power. The most dangerous of all is Edmund Seymour, Mary's disturbingly handsome cousin. From the moment she meets Edmund, Mary has to fight her growing attraction, especially once she discovers that he is a black magician, the dark mirror of her own self. But, despite the threat Edmund poses to Mary, he seems to be the only one who truly understands her. When Edmund becomes involved in a plot against the Queen, Mary finds her beliefs tested in ways she never could have imagined.
This book haunted me for YEARS. It's pretty redhead, gorgeous dress, and Tudor family connections intrigued me. But I never read it. Until I find it on Barnes and Noble for two dollars. What honest book lover can pass up a two dollar book?
Oh how I loved it.
I loved Mary as a character, I loved how Elizabeth was portrayed, I loved the magic, I loved Lady Strange and how fitting her name is, and I loved how wholly evil the villian was.
The romance was somewhat unrealistic. This huge Elizabethan-player and evil magician suddenly in loved and devoted to a pure, young, white magician? Huh? But I also think it was part of the magic in the book. It wasn't a fully pure historical fiction. The magic added to the book and changed how I looked at some things. The book was also fairly short for the amount of time it covered, making it SEEM like very little time passed.
My only real problem was the open ending. It's a happy...ish ending, but it's also so amazingly open it seems like there should be a sequel. But the author has already put out one new book and there's no way to tell if she's working on a sequel or something totally difference because her site and blog aren't updated really well...as in I think it's been over a year. So sad.
I can't really explain why I loved this book. Maybe it's just because it IS a well written book on the Tudors for teens, which IS a very, very, very, very hard find (just ask twitter), but goodness I loved this book. And I'll be eagerly waiting for Kolosov's book, even though I DO keep trying to call her Kostov. I may actually email her for information, I'm that desperate.