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Queen of Martyrs: The Story of Mary I (Plantagenet Embers Book 3) by [Wilcoxson, Samantha]
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Queen of Martyrs: The Story of Mary I (Plantagenet Embers Book 3) Kindle Edition

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Length: 396 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English
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Product Description

'God save the Queen! God save our good Queen Mary!'

When these words rang out over England, Mary Tudor thought her troubles were over. She could put her painful past - the loss of her mother and mistreatment at the hands of her father - behind her.

With her accession to the throne, Mary set out to restore Catholicism in England and find the love of a husband that she had long desired. But the tragedies in Mary's life were far from over. How did a gentle, pious woman become known as 'Bloody Mary'?

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  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4264 KB
  • Print Length: 396 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,883 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic historical fiction. Another great book from Samantha Wilcoxson 13 April 2017
By Patty Hankins - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed the third historical novel about the Plantagenets and Tudors from Samantha Wilcoxson. In this book she presents Mary I as a complex woman, a true believer in her religious faith, striving to do what she believes is best for her country and her subjects. As with the other two books in the Plantagenet Embers, Wilcoxson brings to life the women in the extended Plantagenet/Tudor families. I pre-ordered the book - couldn't put it down once I started reading it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sympathetic Portrait Of An Unpopular Queen 14 April 2017
By presterjohn1 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
With Queen Of Martyrs, Samantha Wilcoxson has applied her talents to shedding light on the life of Mary I, the first queen regnant of England and one of that realm's most controversial, feared and reviled monarchs. I won't go into detail here about the plot, which is history, but rather about the relevance of this telling of a life's story.
Mary, impossibly conflicted but a determined survivor, becomes queen over a country that is paradoxically the nation she most loves in the world but no longer quite the kingdom she believes it to be. The Reformation, once inflicted upon an unwilling nation, has irrevocably changed England a generation later. Mary's dream of rooting out "heresy" from England seems to her a task as simple as tending a garden at first, but she slowly comes to realize that the "True Faith" will not be so easily restored as reforming zeal has taken root at the highest levels of government and even within her own family.
The relevance for the modern reader is inescapable. Today's world is as divided as Mary's was. Religious tensions both domestically and between nations of East and West have escalated in the last quarter century just as the struggle between the left and right wings of politics has become more polarized. It's natural that someone trying to navigate right and wrong between the extremes will find the voyage perilous. For Mary, a pious Catholic attempting to restore her faith to the fore in the face of equally pious (or sometimes, self-serving) reformation, the way is more hazardous than for most. Let's not forget that four-and-a-half centuries later, the rights of women to lead nations are still openly questioned by many, so the challenges for Mary to achieve her ends as the first female absolute monarch in a patriarchy cannot be overstated. (Matilda fitzEmpress, mother of Henry II, unfettered by questions of legitimacy or right to rule, faced similar challenges centuries before and cannot be said to have ever truly ruled as queen regnant.)
As the child of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, Mary, basically a conservative individual who takes comfort from stability, has been destined instead for a life rocked by incessant and seismic change. The breakdown of her parents' marriage was more than just a separation, but a turning point in history. Whether father or mother won, Mary was always going to be a loser in that struggle. What Wilcoxson does here is demonstrate not only the magnitude of Mary's loss--a mother, her birthright, the legitimacy of her very faith--but also its impact on an essentially uncomplicated, intelligent, pious and inoffensive young girl. As the back cover copy asks, "How did a gentle, pious woman become known as 'Bloody Mary'?" The traumatic events that shaped her life were bound to influence her rule.
There will be some readers who will be uncomfortable with the level of identification Wilcoxson establishes with a historical character many revile as the monstrous Bloody Mary, a figure whose reign is often dismissed as a brief, cloudy period before the sun rose on Elizabeth's rule. Others will recognize the achievement of seeing the real woman behind the label, capable of as great love and longing as cruelty and determination.
Samantha Wilcoxson's story of Mary I is a powerful character study that can be interpreted in a number of ways. As I look at an increasingly divided world in which faiths are changing and political tensions are once more on the rise, I was open to a reading of the story as a cautionary tale about many social phenomena with which we are as familiar today as folk were in Mary's time: about the dangers of letting extremism become casual; about the impact of child trauma, neglect and abuse upon character; and what can happen when we all stop listening to each other and start believing we alone walk the right path. And there are many other ways the story can be read and interpreted. At its heart, though, this is a very human story of a woman in conflict with her world and coping with loss, love and longing as best she can in an ever-changing world.
I recommend this novel, which like the best historical fiction, imparts knowledge of another time and informs us greatly about our own as well.
4.0 out of 5 stars Rare example of a novel sympathetic to Mary I, aka Bloody Mary 19 April 2017
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
While Mary I won the right to rule over England, she certainly lost the propaganda wars. Now remembered as "bloody Mary" and associated with persecution, the facts of her reign show a mix of clemency and harshness. Wilcoxson's novel attempts to reconcile this mix by portraying her as a complex, if flawed woman, shaped by her yearning to be loved for herself and her need to maintain her hold on power.

Wilcoxson starts by showing Mary desperately longing for her father's approval and seems to underemphasize the role that her mother, Katherine of Aragon, played in shaping her character. The novel also never quite explores just how much danger Mary was in during most of her life, with Anne Boleyn regularly demanding that Henry VIII have her killed, and how precarious her position was even after Anne and the Boleyn family fell out of grace. These would have helped make it clear that while Mary had her weaknesses, she was also astute enough to survive the turbulence that took so many lives.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful account of England's last Catholic Monarch. 14 April 2017
By Chris - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
She is infamously known throughout the pages of history as Bloody Mary, a cruel tyrant who like modern day religious fanatics such as ISIS burned and tortured those who didn't share her beliefs. In her book, Samantha shows a different side of Mary I; a somewhat complex woman ruling England during a period of great political upheaval, much of which was brought about by sectarian violence. The writing is very good and the author has a strong understanding of history.

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