Title: The Red Queen’s Daughter
Author: Jacqueline Kolosov
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Plot: Mary Seymour has just lost her guardian. Her mother, Jane Seymour passed just after she was born. Her father, Thomas Seymour, was executed a year later. Now she finds herself in the care of Lady Strange, a former resident of the court. Lady Strange tells Mary that she’s destined for greatness. If she accepts her destiny, she can learn the ways of the white magician. Mary heartily accepts. Over the years, Lady Strange teaches Mary all about white magic. When she tuns 16, Queen Elizabeth invites Mary to be a lady-in-waiting. Mary goes knowing she can’t pass up the offer. She bring her dog, Perseus, whom she has a special bond with. Mary uses the skills she’s learned to protect the Queen and her friends. Soon Mary learns of a plot that threatens relations with Russia and endanger the Queen. Mary must use her allies and friends to stop the culprit. But the culprit is her cousin, Edmond Seymour. He is her opposite, dangerous and cunning, and a black magician. She’s encouraged to distract him by pretending to like him. But will she fall for him? Or will she keep her promise to herself and not fall in love? Then Perseus disappears. Will Mary be able to find him? Who’s behind his disappearance? Can Mary succeed in changing Edmond’s mind? Will she foil his plans?
Rating: 3.3 – a good take on history with magic
Opinion: I remember reading this book in high school and decided to give it another shot because I enjoyed it. My high school book club got a couple advanced copies of books each month. It combined what I like to read, history and magic. While it is a great book, I’d forgotten how long it takes for the plot to get going. There’s a fair amount of time spent learning the details of being a white magician. While they are important to the story in the end, I still found them a little distracting from the story. It was interesting to learn more about what ladies-in-waiting did. I wish the story had spent a little bit more time developing Edmond and Mary’s relationship. Mary’s behavior seems to change instantly with very little reasoning. What I did enjoy was Mary’s independence. Though she was willing to ask for help when she needed. Even though the book started out slow, I did enjoy it overall. It kept me interested. This is a good book for young adults who enjoy historical fiction with magic mixed in.