Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Book Review: Royal Diaries: Isabel and Mary
Mary, Queen Without a Country by Kathryn Lasky
3 out of 5 stars
I don't have much to say about this book. I read it a while back and then stalled on the review, to the point where I don't really remember all that much. Which, I guess, says a lot in and of itself. As an entry in The Royal Diaries series, this one isn't bad, but it didn't really stand out much either. Given their short length (made even shorter by the diary format and big historical notes section padding out the back end) and overall solid recounting of history, I don't think it's ever a waste of time to read a Royal Diaries book, this one included. That said, I enjoyed Carolyn Meyer's take on Mary in The Wild Queen a lot more.
Isabel, Jewel of Castilla by Carolyn Meyer
3.5 out of 5 stars
My first historical fiction foray into Isabel's world was through C. W. Gortner's powerful The Queen's Vow. Now, that book was an adult book that clocked in at about 400 pages. This one is a MG book with fewer than half that many pages, all told through diary format. Comparing the two is totally unfair. But who said I'm fair? Of course the MG version came up lacking in detail and depth and was totally sanitized compared to C. W. Gortner's scary Isabel. But that's also ok, because this is a look at a young Isabel, and she wasn't always a single-minded crusader. It was nice seeing this softer, younger side of Isabel, but Carolyn Meyer also totally planted the seeds of the kind of woman Isabel would grow to become. Recommended. Bonus points for the thrilling chase scene!