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The Captive Queen: A Novel of Mary Stuart by [Saunders, Danny]
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Product Description

Product Description

Political schemes, religious partisanship and unbridled love shake the Royal Court of Scotland at the end of the Stuart dynasty.

Witness to sordid murders, spy for Her Majesty among the Protestants of the infamous preacher John Knox, forced to give up her one true love, thrown out onto the streets then ruthlessly attacked by a drunkard, Charlotte Gray will do everything in her power to remain the sovereign’s lady-in-waiting.

As for the Queen of Scots, she faces turmoil of a completely different kind: prisoner in a castle under the command of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England, Mary Stuart learns that she is the victim of a vast conspiracy and that her English counterpart has ordered her imminent execution.

Despite their hardships, Mary and Charlotte will keep their dignity throughout the storm. The two women will finally find serenity, one in the arms of a man and the other in the arms of God.

Interwoven with historical facts of the era, the thrilling The Captive Queen saga is worthy of the greatest royal intrigues that still fascinate us several centuries later.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3908 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Danny Saunders; 1 edition (20 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00KHAXQY0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #724,581 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2.8 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `In my end lies my beginning' Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots (1542-1587) 15 April 2015
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
British author Danny Saunders is of Scottish descent, holds a bachelor's degree in political science, pursued communication studies at the university level and has worked as a journalist for various written and electronic media. His passion for history and for royalty has lead to his debut novel and he quickly adds, `with The Captive Queen: A Novel of Mary Stuart I wanted to pay tribute to one of the most popular historical figure of Scottish history.'

To get a flavor for Danny Saunders' historical novel it is well to dwell a bit on his Foreword: `When I was a child, my maternal grandmother often talked to me about the predominant place my ancestors had in the history of Scotland and, later on, Great Britain. Once I became an adult, I wanted to pay tribute to these men and women who have, since then, captured my imagination. The tragic life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, was one of the most important periods in the history of these people. Since that time, no other woman has left such an indelible mark in the past of this country. Six days after her birth, Mary loses her father and becomes queen. She will rule Scotland from 1542 to 1567. Very early on, her reign will be disrupted by her tempestuous relationships with the men of her entourage along with the repeated conspiracies from the Protestants of John Knox. Held captive in England for nineteen years by her cousin Queen Elizabeth I, she will be beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle on February 8, 1587. The Captive Queen: A Novel of Mary Stuart is a historical fiction with a touch of romance. Although it recounts true facts, this book is by no means a biography. One of the main characters, the charming Charlotte Gray, is the sole fruit of my imagination, and any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental. Throughout this captivating story, you will be immersed in the plots that were hatching at the Scottish Royal Court, experience the religious confrontations with the Presbyterian Church along with Mary Stuart's imprisonment and decapitation. After a tumultuous past and a series of misfortunes, Charlotte Gray will attempt to take control of her existence by all means necessary. But will love and friendship finally prevail in this universe of betrayal and chaos?'

What follows is well research history for Mary Stuart but since through PBS series and various operas and plays and films we are familiar with the characters, Danny adds his own touch and his straying form actual fact enhances the romance of the drama. It is filled with the court details and fashions of the times and his introduction of Charlotte Gray is a bit of ingenious manipulation of history that ads a fresh light to this fascinating period of change.

Danny offers a synopsis that gels the book: `Political schemes, religious partisanship and unbridled love shake the Royal Court of Scotland at the end of the Stuart dynasty. Witness to sordid murders, spy for Her Majesty among the Protestants of the infamous preacher John Knox, forced to give up her one true love, thrown out onto the streets then ruthlessly attacked by a drunkard, Charlotte Gray will do everything in her power to remain the sovereign's lady-in-waiting. As for the Queen of Scots, she faces turmoil of a completely different kind: prisoner in a castle under the command of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England, Mary Stuart learns that she is the victim of a vast conspiracy and that her English counterpart has ordered her imminent execution. Despite their hardships, Mary and Charlotte will keep their dignity throughout the storm. The two women will finally find serenity, one in the arms of a man and the other in the arms of God. Interwoven with historical facts of the era, the thrilling The Captive Queen saga is worthy of the greatest royal intrigues that still fascinate us several centuries later.'

No, not all of it is fact, but the foundation is true, and Danny simply embellishes the tale with an infectious enthusiasm that makes the book a fine read. Grady Harp, April 15
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible. What a Waste of Time. 24 July 2014
By Julie Merilatt - Published on Amazon.com
I love good Tudor fiction, but this is by far the worst example I have ever come across. Aside from the deplorable writing, the whole novel read like a history textbook. The narrative is completely devoid of emotion, the dialogue is wooden, and the lack of editing is obvious. Not only are the glaring mistakes distracting and often contradictory, the way the author addresses the characters drove me nuts. Instead of referring to them by their proper names, they were all referred to in an impersonal way (examples for Mary Stuart: the sovereign, the Scotswoman, the Stuarts’ daughter, the Scottish Queen, Elizabeth I’s cousin, the daughter of James V, etc).

Now to the plot… The opening chapter introduces the characters, including Mary’s lady-in-waiting, Charlotte, and hints at the plot that will lead to the title of the book. Then the author decided to spend a few chapters recapping Mary’s birth and early life. It is presented in the most straightforward, matter-of-fact way; it is so utterly dry. Then back to Charlotte and Mary and their relationship. Charlotte herself is vengeful, scheming and unlikeable. Once they are separated when Mary escapes to England, Charlotte’s narrative diverges from her mistress’s and becomes almost an afterthought. The synopsis would have you believe that one of the key plot points is Charlotte being sent to spy on reformist Presbyterian John Knox. It is barely worth noting and nothing resulted from that endeavor.

Overall, there are dozens of Tudor novels that I would recommend before this. If you want an uninspired, textbook reconstruction of Mary’s life devoid of any creativity or skill, by all means, waste your time here.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.
2.0 out of 5 stars A Miss For Sure 13 August 2014
By Kimberly Sue - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I’ve read a couple books about Mary Queen of Scots lately, and unfortunately this was not my favorite. I thought the author, Danny Saunders, did a great job researching The Captive Queen, but the writing just wasn’t the greatest for me. It just seemed disconnected, and didn’t flow smoothly, in my opinion. I also didn’t feel like I truly got to ‘know’ any of the characters. I felt like an outsider looking in the entire time, so I wasn’t able to relate or connect to the book in a way that I do with novels that I really enjoy. I’m sad, because I really wanted to love this book, the story was great, the writing of the story, not so much. I do believe it is this author’s first novel, so he deserves a little slack.
I did kind of enjoy the overall story, and the amount of effort that went into creating this novel. I also enjoyed reading about Mary, and getting an idea of what the people surrounding her did and thought through Charlotte. Charlotte was not a favorite of mine. She’s manipulative and thinks way too highly of herself. There was really no way to connect with her character, because she was just plain unlikable. Plus, I don’t see how a nobody, with ‘ins’ to court, was able to rise in only a couple of months to become the queen’s favorite. It just seemed a little far-fetched.
Overall I did not hate the book, I just couldn’t really get into it for numerous reasons. I think there could definitely be some improvements to the characters and the writing style. I also would have liked to get to know the characters better. It was his first novel that I know of, so hopefully if he decides to write another, there will be improvements. I wouldn’t recommend this novel to anyone, there are definitely much better historical fiction novels out there to read without needing to stumble through this one.
I give The Captive Queen a 2 out of 5 stars.

I received this copy for a blog tour and was asked to read and give my honest opinion.
3.0 out of 5 stars The Captive Queen: A Novel of Mary Stuart 28 August 2014
By Erin Davies - Published on Amazon.com
I have mixed feelings about Danny Saunders' The Captive Queen. I liked the content and was genuinely intrigued by some of the drama Saunders created, but his style choices made it difficult for me to really get into and appreciate the story.

Mary Stuart is a fascinating historical figure so I completely understand Saunders' enthusiasm for crafting a novel out of her experiences. In terms of content I think the author did an admirable job recounting the conspiracies, drama and tension that surrounded the Scottish Queen and I enjoyed the perspective Mary's lady-in-waiting, Charlotte Gray brought to the narrative.

Saunders' interpretation of Mary and Charlotte are certainly worth noting. Mary herself is somewhat different than I expected, but I ultimately found Saunders' version of both original and thought-provoking. Charlotte is hard, calculating and difficult, but rather intriguing when you get right down to it.

In terms of style, I would have liked more ambiguity. Saunders has a tendency to spell out every detail and while I appreciate the author's enthusiasm, I personally would have enjoying piecing together various elements of the story on my own.

All told, The Captive Queen is a detailed historical that offers a creative glimpse into Mary's world. A little rough around the edges, but not a bad introduction to the tragic monarch.
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor Mary 7 September 2014
By Andrea J. Guy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm on the fence about Danny Saunder's The Captive Queen. It is a very well researched book. I don't want to say novel, because to me, it didn't really read much like a novel, even when you were reading about the fictional Charlotte Gray. It read more like non-fiction.

Saunders tells more than he shows in this book. And there were a few phrases that had to be errors throughout the book. Elizabeth, another lady in waiting to Queen Mary, was often referred to as the red-haired. And Mary was referred to as Mary Stuart all the time, even if something was being told from her point of view. It made the story less personal. I never felt like the story was really coming from her.

This really took away from what could have been a really fantastic novel.

It is obvious that Danny loves this time period, as you can tell by the research that was done to bring this book to your hands.

There was a lot of potential in the way Charlotte's life and Mary's paralleled each other, though in reverse, but Charlotte was such an unlikable woman that you couldn't feel good for her at the end.

I've read several books about Mary Queen of Scots, and sadly this one didn't measure up to any of them. I did however enjoy a refresher in the history of her time period.

Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

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