Queen's Own Fool: A Novel of Mary Queen of Scots School & Library Binding – Nov 2001
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About the Author
Robert J. Harris was born in Dundee and lives in St Andrews with his wife, sons, and dog. He is the author of many children's books, including "The Day the World Went Loki" and "Thor Is Locked in My Garage!" (Kelpies imprint). He also created the popular fantasy board game "Talisman." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From Kirkus Reviews
With a handful of historical facts and a great deal of research, the prolific and marvelous Yolen has teamed with a Scottish maker of a fantasy board game to spin a historical tale of great immediacy and impact. In Rheims, in 1559, a troupe of street performers captures the eye of the radiant young Queen Mary. Before she knows it, Nicola, an Italian orphan much put upon by her uncle, the leader of the troupe, is taken to be Mary's own fool, and nicknamed Jardiniere. The rest of the recounting sees Mary through Nicola's fond but perceptive eye: when the sallow young French king dies and Mary goes back to Scotland, a veritable vipers' nest of intrigue begins. Mary marries, and marries again; nobles rise up against her and are banished or return, craven, to her service; she bears one son and loses twins. Through it all, Nicola loves and supports her queen, finds humor amidst danger and deception, and in the end, returns to France, and to love, while Mary becomes her cousin Elizabeth's prisoner. Based deeply in fact and full of detail both luscious and sordid, the story's length will not discourage any reader who picks it up and begins to be enthralled. (Historical fiction. YA) -- Copyright © 2000 Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Nicola is given her position as fool just before Mary's husband, the king of France, dies. Having no reason to stay in France, Mary goes back to her native Scotland and sets herself up as queen. Nicola goes with her, serving as a courtier, and also as a friend, during the years between Mary's return to Scotland and her exile in England.
The book starts slowly, and is almost but not quite boring until the murder of David Riccio, a close friend of Mary and Nicola. Then it picks up, starting with a touching scene of Nicola visiting David's grave. After this beautiful interlude, the real action begins. Nicola must keep Darnley, Mary's frat-boy husband, from usurping the throne, and later has to help Mary escape from imprisonment on a remote island. The second half of the book is much more interesting than the first, but I suppose it would have made no sense without the background of the first half. *shrug*
Overall, a decent novel about Queen Mary for middle-schoolers or thereabouts. It might even encourage you to read more about the Tudor/Stuart period.
Since reading the book, I have a whole new insight into how to portray MY character at the next feast!
Most recent customer reviews
This is one of the best books that i have read.while the story focuses on Mary queen of scots it also tells Nicola Ambruzzi's story. Read morePublished on May 23 2004
This book was quite good, but quite lengthy. It seemed to go on longer than it needed to or started to soon, or maybe it just had to many details. Read morePublished on Feb. 29 2004
I bought this book not expecting much, just a week read. Instead I got a sensational book! Not only were the characters amusing, but they seemed like real people! Read morePublished on April 28 2003
While not extroadinary, this book definitely stands out as a good, solid story for anyone interested in this time period. Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2003
This book was chosen to be on the Interscholastic Reading Compeitition high school list for my area this year. Read morePublished on Aug. 13 2002 by Brian Emling
This book is amazing, fun to read and packed with historical information. (although, some of the info may be questionable) I sincerely recommend this book to ANYONE who knows how... Read morePublished on June 13 2002 by Sarah D.
I think that this book is the best book I've ever read. I love the author's style and everything about the book. Read morePublished on March 4 2002
I really enjoyed this excellent read! The heroine was likable, as were most of the other characters. Read morePublished on March 1 2002
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