When witches are in Tudor England: Witchstruck (The Tudor Witch Trilogy #1) by Victoria Lamb

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Witchstruck

By Victoria Lamb

Released September, 2013 by Harlequin Teen

Length: 320 pages

Genre: YA Historical, paranormal-witches

Rating: Three Stars

Acquired: by netgalley

 

A witch, Lady Elizabeth, a Spanish Priest in Training, and a Witch hunter  in Tudor England, what could go wrong?

Meg Lytton is a witch in training, serving exiled Princess Elizabeth accused of treason, living in the dilapidated castle at Woodstock. Meg wasn’t very smart covering up that she was a witch. Lady Elizabeth knows, asking her often to use her powers to predict her status and so forth. Then, there is the Spanish Catholic Priest Alejandro de Castillo who catches her but soon changes her. Then, there is the Witch Hunter, Marcus Dent,  who still wants her.

Oh, Meg, she is trouble. She can’t control her magical powers, often getting cocky with her abilities. But Lady Elizabeth’s persistence doesn’t help, either. Lady Elizabeth is portrayed as somewhat needy, immature, yet willful and strong. A tad bit whiny, too to be honest. And, Meg, fiesty, fiesty Meg. The audacity she had. Yet, she was strong. Strong, independent, and extremely willful. She claimed to always be careful while practicing, but I didn’t see much of it. She was by no means weak, but a little insolent and definitely naive. She wasn’t very lovable to me, or really likable, but definitely had character. To be honest, I was unimpressed with how any of the characters were portrayed, but I loved the Priest. I liked his personality, interaction with Meg, and how noble he behaves. He is perhaps the main reason why I gave this book three stars.

I did enjoy the this book. I found the subject intriguing with the mix of the Tudors, their history I have always enjoyed reading about, and the presence of witchcraft. As well as Meg Lytton’s family members and Lady Elizabeth’s other supporters trying to dethrone Queen Mary. At the time of the book, Queen Mary is pregnant, or having a false pregnancy. The plot was strong, just Meg and Lady Elizabeth’s characters weren’t developed as well.

Although I didn’t love this book, or believe it should be rated higher than I gave it, I would recommend this book to fans of YA books. There is something about it that makes it worth reading.

Not Your Average Princess Rescue:Prisoners in the Palace: How Princess Victoria became Queen with the Help of Her Maid, a Reporter, and a Scoundrel book review

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Prisoners in the Palace: How Princess Victoria became Queen with the Help of Her Maid, a Reporter, and a Scoundrel

Prisoners in the Palace: How Princess Victoria became Queen with the Help of Her Maid, a Reporter, and a Scoundrel

By: Michaela MacColl

Published in 2013 by Chronicle Books

368 Pages

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Four Stars

London, 1838. Sixteen-year-old Liza’s dreams of her society debut are dashed when her parents are killed in an accident. Penniless, she accepts the position of lady’s maid to young Princess Victoria and steps unwittingly into the gossipy intrigue of the servants’ world below-stairs and the rampant trickery above. Is it possible that her changing circumstances may offer Liza the chance to determine her own fate, find true love, and secure the throne for her future queen? Meticulously based on newly discovered information, this engrossing novel is as rich in historical detail.

–goodreads.com description

A couple years back, I watched the film Young Victoria with Emily Blunt as young Victoria. I fell in love with that movie pretty much immediately. Emily Blunt was great in it; as well as an under appreciated actress in my opinion. I have always been interested in the British Monarchy for some reason. There is more intrigue and secrecy that has happened than we are aware. Hence my deep fascination with historical fiction novels, particularly British. So, as another great $2.99 nook find, I fell in love with this neglected book. I have no idea how long I have had it. On a whim of sorts, after failing to love the previous book I read, it was great to pick this book up and never want to let it go.

          What starts off as a novel about a spoiled brat coming to terms with her new station and position serving the Princess, comes a tale based on the true accounts of Princess Victoria’s rise to the throne and the conniving ways of her mother and her mother’s “lover” and confidant Sir John.  Michaela MacColl creates a believable girl to act as a chambermaid, part spy, and confidant to sixteen year old Victoria up until Princess Victoria’s coronation.  Recently orphaned  Elizabeth Hastings was forced out of her fancy London hotel with a large bill and no inheritance. As luck would have it, Liza is born; from spoiled girl just shy of entering her first season in society to the girl who saved Princess Victoria and her Queendom from Sir John Conroy and Princess Victoria’s more, the Duchess.

        I absolutely adored this book because it included many details and inside looks, the first and foremost actual journal entries from Queen Victoria’s journal she kept when she was younger with entries that detailed the first time she met her future husband, her cousin Albert. There were also actual correspondences written by Queen Victoria’s mother, the Duchess, when Victoria was getting closer to the throne. The novel felt very real and authentic. Even if you are unfamiliar with Queen Victoria and her life, this would be a good historical fiction starter novel. Mostly, because it does not just include Princess Victoria and her life’s activities, but an authentic representation of a working girl and how it life was for an orphan and/or one of lower class standings.

      In the back of this novel,  MacColl  talks about how she was able to portray Liza and young Princess Victoria’s life. MacColl even goes as far as writing about an actual woman who was a dismissed maid of Victoria’s and the maid’s downfall (her death).  I loved this book more after I read the author’s note. I felt that much closer to Queen Victoria and the struggles all women had to face. The details were vivid sufficiently, with details that I could relate to, even without being a princess or Queen.  Both Liza and Princess (Queen) Victoria were portrayed as personable, with struggles I could relate to, if not understand. There are plenty historical fiction novels that tackle England, and it’s Monarchy, but not many YA ones that are as impressive and representative as this book is.

Happy Reading!

-indie

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