Picking this one up, I was a little put off that the lead character was Beatrice. She wasn't my favorite person in book 1. But, she surprised me. I ended up liking her by the end.
She seems very bitter for such a young girl, but she's basically been Elizabeth's play thing for a very long time. It seems the Queen gets a particular kick out of manipulating Beatrice's world. Turns out though that Beatrice can make life tough for the Queen as well. She knows a secret that the Queen would rather stay hidden for ever. You would think that would make the Queen fawn over her instead. But, that's not the Elizabeth I know and love.
I really enjoyed learning about Beatrice's family and estate. It turns out she's learned that art of secret keeping from them. Her mother's crazy, the estate is full of orphan's, and her father has something hidden in the well at the center of the overgrown maze! Not to mention that the gypsies hidden on her land are enough to be charged with treason.
Beatrice comes across as materialistic for quite some time. But, I think our young Scottish Lord is teaching her that there are some things in life that are more important.
I enjoyed this installment a lot! I felt it a little bit better written than the first book. Plus, I'm a sucker for YA historical fiction!
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