Released: 2nd August 2012
Pages: 400 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!
My past experience with historical fiction has been... well, not so good. That's why I'd made it a rule to never pick up another historical book. But then this one came through the post. It wasn't expected. I put it aside, dismissing it - doubting it would be something I'd like... Then, surprising myself, I ended up picking it up. I don't know what came over me but, suddenly, I just wanted to give it a chance. And I'm glad I did. It turned out to be an interesting read that, even though I didn't love, I enjoyed enough to make me consider venturing more into historical fiction in the future.
One thing I adored about this novel in particular was that it was (partly) set in Scotland. I love reading books set in my home country (since they are virtually non-existent!) - it was a breath of fresh air. I also hadn't really thought much of Mary, Queen of Scots, and this helped me understand more of what happened to her. Obviously this book doesn't relay the events exactly like how they really happened (considering it's fiction) but, I'm to believe, that the author did incorporate some truth into the storyline. Which I enjoyed.
The story is told through the POV of lady-in-waiting and best friend to Mary, Lady Ginette - known better as Jenny. I found her to be a very admirable character. She was extremely loyal to Mary and was always looking out for her. However, she did have a tendency to jump to conclusions and, more often than not, she took out her frustration and anger on Duncan. Which I felt was really unfair to him. Even though he was a very secretive and frustrating character himself, I still fell for him. The romance between them was a little all over the place though.
Overall, I did end up enjoying this book more than I thought I would. Though I was led to believe there would be more spying on Jenny's part than there was, the romance was a bit out-of-sorts and the language in the book had me confused at parts - as is common with the few historical books I have read - I am still glad I read it. It was completely different from anything I'd read before and I was constantly intrigued as to how the story would end - given that Mary, ultimately, comes to a graphic end. So, to conclude, I did like this novel. Just not loads.
THREE STARS FOR SPY FOR THE QUEEN OF SCOTS!
Huge thanks go out to Random House for my copy!
PS: Anyone got any YA historical fiction books to recommend? ;)