I just finished The Queen’s Bastard by C. E. Murphy. I just don’t know what to say. I don’t think this genre is for me, but I keep picking up these books. In defense, I thought this book would be more of a historical fiction. Not really…. I guess I misunderstood the “blurb” which, in part, says:
In a world where religion has ripped apart the old order, Belinda Primrose is the queen’s secret weapon. The unacknowledged daughter of Lorraine, the first queen to sit on the Aulunian throne, Belinda has been trained as a spy since the age of twelve by her father, Lorraine’s lover and spymaster….
This book involved a great deal of politics between made-up countries. They resembled some cities and countries of typical historical fiction, but had different names. The names were difficult to follow and I found myself having trouble keeping the queens straight and who was plotting against whom. The religious conflicts were reminiscent of the break in the church in England during Henry VIII, but again, details were changed.
The main character, Belinda, was not likable at all. At times, I started to feel some pity for her, but it was short-lived. I’m not faint of heart when I read those “sexy” scenes, but this book made me very uncomfortable in this realm. Belinda’s use of sex in the story was hard to take.
Another confusing point was the switching of the names of the main character. Her real name, Belinda, was often inter-changed with her persona, Beatrice. I know the author had some literary reason for this, but it was very confusing.
Finally, the ending was a cliff-hanger. I only kept reading because I wondered how the author was going to tie the story up. I was let down to see the final words as “continued in The Pretender’s Crown” (due out in Spring, 2009).
This book took me almost a week to read. I usually read 2-3 books per week. I’m not even sure why I kept reading since I really did not like the story, the characters, nothing. I seem to have been doing this alot lately. I do have trouble abandoning a book that I’ve started. It must be my English teacher mother whispering in my ear (or penance for not reading the books I should have as a high-schooler). But, save yourself the trouble and skip this one.
On another note, I haven’t heard from Lee concerning my give-away. If I don’t hear by Sunday, I’ll will do another drawing for the book. So, you still may have a chance.