(This review may contain spoilers).
I wavered a bit at how many stars to give this book. In the end, I think 3.5 stars is about accurate, as I did enjoy the book and found it really easy to read, but I didn’t like it quite as much as the first book.
One of the strongest parts of this book, I felt, was the intrigue and tension felt in the English Court. If I’m honest, I was actually a little bit disappointed not to see more of Queen Mary in this book. I couldn’t help but feel a small amount of sympathy for her, even though she was clearly a tyrant. Unlike Elizabeth, there didn’t seem to be anyone who really cared about Mary or who was on her side.
There was also a lot of tension in this book that kept me reading throughout, but I would have liked more focus on the personal growth of the characters and less on the romance and inevitable love triangle Meg ended up experiencing. Her constant switching and questioning of her feelings for Alejandro made my head spin, as there were times she seemed fully accepting of her love for him…and others when her feelings seemed so much more negative.
I did feel there was some glossing over of some of the elements that could have been more interesting, such as Meg’s power not being as strong.
I didn’t really like Elizabeth so much in this book. While I could understand she was very much at the mercy of her sister, I felt she abused her power over her servants. Of course, it did fit with the historical figure of Queen Elizabeth…but I really ended up with a strong dislike for how she treated Meg by the end of the book.
While I did find Richard to be an interesting character, he would have had a lot more depth to him if I could have seen him interacting with some of the other characters than Meg and John Dee. His abrupt about-change in regards to Meg really didn’t feel realistic…especially given his entirely disrespectful actions in grabbing her shortly after their first meeting because he was ‘just looking’.
I would like to read the third book in this trilogy, as I did find this book a tense read, apart from the forced romances/love interests.