Spy for the Queen of Scots by Theresa Breslin

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Corgi, 2013. ISBN: 9780552560757.
Highly recommended. Award winning author Theresa Breslin provides insight into the tragic life of history's obscure Scottish regent Mary Stuart who faced sexism and religious discrimination from all those of her age whilst she struggled to unite a warring nation.
Born into royalty and crowned as a baby, Mary Stuart Queen of Scots is surrounded by agents of deceit throughout her life, never knowing quite who to trust, however there is one person who has always remained loyal, Jenny. Childhood friends who were nursed together in France away from their Scottish homeland, Jenny is the confidant and friend that Mary needs throughout the persecution she faces on her return to her Scottish homeland after the murder of her first husband, King Francis. While Mary relies upon her friend the Lady Ginette, Jenny in turn relies upon her protector Sir Duncan Alexander, a man who she has always loved, although surrounded by the deceit and ill-intent towards her queen Jenny distrusts the man who always seems to be in the right place at the right time. In her role as spy for the Queen of Scots, her suspicions drive a wedge between the two.
I would highly recommend this novel to all lovers of historic fiction, the simple presentation of the complex dramas of 1500's monarch life is easy to understand and provides for a very exciting read. Sophisticated and engaging, this novel is a sure representation of great historic fiction. It brings the drama of court life, the stress of political problems and the treachery of nobles and lords of old. This novel has everything any good novel should, a dramatic plot filled with subterfuge, believable characters and of course a brilliant writer.
Kayla Gaskell (Student)