Tuesday, October 06, 2009
55. MARY QUEEN OF SCOTLAND AND THE ISLES - Margaret George
Before I get to the review, let me just whinge (I learned how to pronounce this properly last week) a bit. I miss reading. I miss it desperately. Lately, however, I have had to choose between reading and writing. I want to publish in the next decade, so I choose writing. Reading is like taking a hot shower after doing grungy farm work all day. And I am bitter-sad.
So, when I have an eight hundred pager, I expect it to be amazing. The first two-thirds of MARY were great - fast-paced plot, excellent characters, interesting historical elements. Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles, is portrayed as a woman who tried her best but was led astray by shifty advisers and loves. However, the last part, when Mary was exiled, needed a strong editorial hand. Slash, cut, burn. Red ink everywhere. There is only so much that one can write about someone in prison. Although the author stuck to the facts, since this was presented as fiction, there needed to be action rather than inaction (off to another prison, brought my sewing).
Still, I am fascinated by the history of the Scots, so if anyone knows of a good book about King James, I would be grateful. If you pick this one up (or use it as a doorstop), skip through the exiled portion. You can thank me later.
3.5 out of 5.0 Queen of Scots.
P.S. Seriously, I am going to try this drink tonight... love it!