The Heretic Heir is a work of Historical Fiction about the life of Queen Elizabeth I as she endured life as a royal half sister to Queen Mary I. Written entirely from Elizabeth’s POV, some chapters are from the end of her life set in 1603 as she looks back at her youthful years. Most chapters are set in the four years between 1554 and 1558.
After the death of their brother Edward VI, a young boy crowned when he was just 9 years old, there was a struggle for the crown which led to Lady Jane Grey ruling for just 9 days before she was thrown in the Tower of London and Mary proclaimed Queen.
England was pulled first one way and then another and Mary brought back the Catholic religion and began a reign of terror for Protestants. Mary faced great opposition, few believed a woman should have such power, she also needed an heir and took Phillip of Spain as her husband. This was another unfavourable move as the English did not want to be ruled by Spain.
As a Protestant, Elizabeth was in danger and spent time in the Tower of London when Mary became suspicious of her true loyalties. Throughout Mary’s reign Elizabeth trod a fine line between support for her sister and maintaining her own safety.
I really enjoyed being immersed in the life and times of Elizabeth, from the fears and dangers to the sights and smells of every day sixteenth century England. The author had me quickly rooting for Elizabeth and wanting to see Mary’s life come to a quick end.
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