The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer by Lucy Weston
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
The story is of Queen Elizabeth with a different hue to color the history. On the eve of her coronation, Elizabeth's powers awaken and she becomes a vampire slayer.
I have two minds regarding this story.
#1 mind is truly impressed with the readability of the history of Queen Elizabeth. Without boring the reader, the author succinctly sums up Elizabeth's life up to this point. In the course of telling the story, more is revealed regarding her history. Plainly put, Elizabeth is the child of King Henry VIII who had his wife, Anne Bolyne beheaded. The reasons for her beheading, according to the history books, are accurately portrayed.
Incredibly, the author stays true to Elizabeth's qualities as the pious Virgin Queen who kept the Pope and suitors at arm's length without committing herself one way or the other. This was crucial to the Queen's character as the sister Bloody Mary, the self-righteously indignant Catholic imprisoned Elizabeth for maintaining her Anglican faith. Due to the religious crack, Elizabeth's long reign is miraculous and politically well played.
Additionally, the author describes the English scenery, castles, cathedrals, etc. with accuracy and tangible description. She also includes details in the story itself that allow the reader to envision the show downs.
Which brings me to mind #2. Painting Elizabeth as a vampire slayer is ludicrous so perhaps the books should be humorous. Although there are moments of humor, this is a history book with a vampire flavor. It should be weird. Truly and bizarrely, strange. And yet it works.
The book works because the author meticulously works with all of the possible arguments that this could not be true and dispels them. There is no way this woman slept for the entire time she was creating this story. It is very complete and compelling. Using real historical figures from Elizabeth's circle, she weaves a story together with vampires that explains the death of Anne Bolyne, adding that Anne had only to agree to give the Mordred, the vampire king, her only daughter when she came of age. Anne refused and Mordred did not intercede.
Elizabeth's long reign in such a fractured society is puzzling, at best, although can be explained to some degree by her politicking. On the other hand, there were many countries who wanted the British Isles and saw Elizabeth as easy pickin's. Couldn't a stronger power be at work to protect her reign? Although she credited God, Mordred credited himself by taking out warriors on their journey to kill the queen.
Putting the vampire story aside, I will reiterate that the book provides a succinct yet comprehensive history of the time and life of Elizabeth. Add the vampires and you have a story to return to, if you are not interested in history. I bored of Elizabeth's constant internal dialogue. I liked it and probably would have liked it more if it were my first introduction to Elizabeth, Anne, and Henry. I just became bored too easily. Still, the book is very well written.