Book Review: The Virgin’s Daughter
veronica | As you now well know, I love anything Tudors. So I jumped at the opportunity to read The Virgin’s Daughter by Laura Andersen. Having never read anything by Andersen before I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when you’re compared to Philippa Gregory, I’m expecting top notch writing with a compelling story. I wasn’t disappointed. The first novel in this series capitulates an alternate ending for the Tudor line. We do know that the Tudor line dies with Elizabeth I, but what if the Virgin Queen did get married and have a daughter? This is the basis for The Virgin’s Daughter.
We are introduced Minuette and Dominic Courtenay’s daughter Lucette who comes into the employ of Walsingham as a spy on behalf of Queen Elizabeth I. It’s been alluded that Lucette is actually Elizabeth Tudor’s illegitimate niece after a courtship between her brother, then King Edward VI and Minuette. Having not read the previous three novels in this series (this is actually a spin-off of The Boleyn Trilogy) but being so familiar with the Tudor’s I felt safe. Walsingham sends Lucette in the company of Dr. Dee to France to stay with the LeClercs, whom they believe are behind the Nightingale plot to assassinate the Queen.
As with the time, royalty is never raised in court, this is true for Anne Tudor, or Anabel as she’s loving called in the Courtenay household. At 16 years old, Anabel is wise beyond her years and while she looks like the Queen Regent, she is 100% her grandmother, Anne Boleyn. While the story does go well between all the characters, I found myself more enthralled with Lucette and her Frenchmen.
What piece of historical fiction would be complete without a love interest? Or two? And brothers, no less. We meet the dreamy, approachable Nicolas LeClerc, the eldest LeClerc son and the smoldering, brooding Julien LeClerc whose reputation precedes him. Caught between an impossible love triangle of her own doing in an attempt to unravel the unravel-able, Lucette makes the impossible decision and goes against her heart and chooses the brother she suspects is the mastermind behind the Nightingale Plot.
I have such a special place for strong female characters, I feel they are often misswritten by well intentioned authors but when I come across one as lively and driven to make the hard choices for the betterment of her country, I can’t help but crush on her. I can’t wait for the next installment.