I have read a lot about the Tudors, and have always been curious about Henry VIII's younger sister Mary, who was married off to the elderly King of France for political reasons, was quickly widowed, and then married the man of her own choosing. In an age when royal princesses were used as political pawns and never chose their own husbands, this made her a very rare creature. In most fiction about the Tudors, she appears as a minor character and this story is only briefly touched on, so I was glad to find that Jean Plaidy dedicated a book to Mary's story. As with all Plaidy's royal novels, this is a great history lesson made more readable by telling it as a personal story. I found the character development in this one to be little better than Plaidy's norm, and I found myself feeling that I really did know Mary by the end. I would have liked a somewhat longer novel so that we could have explored more of her husband Charles Brandon's character as well, but I suspect that the historical records do not contain enough material to allow this, and Jean Plaidy is known for diligent research and a high degree of accuracy. She does a very good job of explaining the political situation in France that resulted in Mary's marriage to a sick old man. No matter how much I read about the Tudors and other royals of that time, I am still shocked by the complete lack of autonomy for women, and have to really admire Mary Tudor for taking control of her own life against the wishes of her tyrannical brother.Shelly Benson
I definitely wish this book was longer. It was interesting in the middle of the story because it felt more like a story of King Louis than Mary. I enjoyed learning more about him, don't get me wrong. I realize we need to be exposed to him to understand Mary, just seemed to confuse me about who I was reading about!Samantha
This is my first Jean Plaidy novel, and while i plan to read more, I am a little disappointed in the story telling in this particular novel. Perhaps it is because this has been written before my generation (( am 24 and an avid historical fiction reader), but i found the writing a little bland. The story is so sensational and scandalous but she writes it too quickly, obviously conforming to a publisher's limit of pages. I found this book to read out this way... "Mary falls in love, Mary gets married away from lover to King of France, Mary marries her real love after King dies." I just wanted more drama. I understand that this isn't a Danielle Steel novel but I just wanted more juiciness.T.E.
This proved to be an engaging story very much in keeping with what on has gleamed from The Lady in the Tower. However, there was much shifting of perspective which I found to be a little annoying; I preferred the sing point of view approach of work previously mentioned, as it allowed me to feel more connected with the heroine. However, all in all it was a brief, wonderfully satisfying read and I am glad to have undertaken it.Jean Plaidy has done it again.Barbara
I really enjoyed this book. Jean Plaidy is one of my favorite authors although I first knew her as Victoria Holt. Her novels always include so much history that can be verified it makes the fictional novels seem almost real. This book had lots of suspense and emotional ups and downs. It really held my interest. Can't wait to read another one of her books!Jennie
I really love the story between Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon. It's a very sweet love story. I'm surprised there aren't more historical fiction w/ this story. I really enjoyed learning about them. This book was very good. And what I really liked was that it was clean. Not always the case w/ the Tudor's.Patricia Ricard
I enjoyed reading this book. Jean Plaidy did a wonderful job of creating a historical fiction story with factual information about King Henry VIII, his sister Queen Mary of France, and the royal Tudor family. The story compelled me to do a little internet research and I found that indeed the background information and royal traditions of the time to be accurate. As a woman, I was emotionally invested in the story and amazed at how young Mary was when she was betrothed(promised)to someone she had never met.Chris Miller
This is, I think, a less rich take on these people than what I've read previously. I did like the look into the context of France but I'm less sure about the tendency to write particularly women in this period as practically obsessive over one person most of their lives, whether that's love interest or son. Maybe it's accurate, I don't know, but especially when it's a love interest it rings false to me, maybe not when one or two do it, but on a large scale? I don't know. Anyway, I'd have liked more nuance in all the characters.Gina Basham
I am a fan of historical fiction and this was a winner. I love when authors can take you to another time and place with enough historical reference to be believable. I would love to read more by Jean Plaidy - she was a prolific writer. I have moved and need to get a new library card. I think I would go broke trying to read them all - and I'd love to! I can't wait to read more.Merredith
I've been reading a lot of super long historical fiction lately, so it was a relief to read something very short for a change. I was thinking this was super short, then checked and it has 304 pages still, so you see my mind frame from those really long ones LOL. Besides the shortness, i wasn't a big fan of this book. It's about Mary, Henry VIII's little sister, and her marriages, and how she fell in love. We start off with Mary's story, then midway through, switch to an entirely different story about France, then bring Mary back in. It felt very choppy. Also, this seemed kind of frivolous, more of a romance than of any historical importance. It was just missing something, it was missing most things. I still read it, it wasn't THAT bad that I couldn't read it, but it seemed more chick lit to me, without the fun chick lit way of writing.Louise Fry
I found this book very interesting and rich with background knowledge of the central characters - Mary Tudor, Dauphin Francis future king, King Louis as well. It was refreshing to once again learn at something in which I never knew about and I enjoyed reading about these interesting characters.At first I worried about the style of writing that Plaidy, would adopt even the style was old-fashioned with fancier words, I still felt enchanted with the story she was trying to put across and found in the end the style of writing was perfectly suited with in the book!I would not hesitate again to read any of her books as i thoroughly enjoyed this oneDaylin
I liked this book for the fact that you learn about Mary and her life in France and about the French royal family as well. During this time period all you ever really hear about it Henry VIII and all of his wives. It was nice to learn about other people who did help influence this time period as well.Elena
“Mary, Queen of France” is the story of Mary Tudor, Henry VIII's youngest sister, who was forced to marry Louis XII of France and then risked everything marrying for love Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.I have always been fascinated by Mary and admired her courage, so I greatly enjoyed reading about her. I found the book to be just as delightful and as enjoyable as the others by Plaidy I've read so far. The story is divided in three parts. In the first we get to know Mary as a very young girl at the English Court. We see her close relationship with her brother and her falling in love with Brandon. Mary, who is charming, beautiful and always gay, leads a very merry life, except for one thing: she is a royal princess and so she is destined to marry for political reason. And Henry indeed betroths her to Louis XII of France, who is thirty years her senior. Mary is in despair, but at last accepts her fate on one condition: when Louis dies, she will marry whom she wishes.I must admit I was not completely happy with Mary. Especially at the beginning, she is not a very likeable heroine: she is spoiled, hot-tempered, insolent and reckless. Even though I felt sorry for her marrying Louis, she complained about it so much that after a while I became annoyed. And the fact that she constantly wished for his death was not very nice either – at least she felt a little sorry for it. All things considered, however, I still liked her for her boldness, wit, charm and determination. I was instead really satisfied about Mary's relationship with Henry. I have a soft spot for close brother/sister relationships, and in this case it is believable and well done. Mary's and Brandon's love story is a little confused: she falls hard for him and fights for him all her life, but Charles appears to be a weak man, even if he also seems to love her sincerely. He remains an ambiguous character – but he was so even in real life, so perhaps that was Plaidy's intent. However, Mary's devotion to Brandon, even if a little unmotivated, is so fierce and strong that I could not help but root for them. The second part is about Mary's time as Queen of France, even though it opens with a long excursus about Francois, the Dauphin of France, who has waited to be king his whole life and so is afraid of Louis's new marriage (if Louis gets a son, he will be king of France). In this part Francois, his mother Louise and his sister Marguerite are as important as Mary is. Louis is actually very kind to Mary, whom he adores, but the english princess can't help but wish constantly for his death. And she doesn't have to wait long, for the king dies after a few months. Henry appears to be already looking for a new husband for her sister, not caring about his promise, so Mary decides to marry Brandon secretly.The long time spent on Francois in this part took me by surprise at first, but I ended up enjoying it. It was nice learning more about him and his family. I found them all to be quite well developed. I also really loved reading about Mary playing them – she was positively wicked, but the joke was fun. In the third part Mary returns to England with her new husband. Henry is not very angry with them, and soon the three of them are again happy together. Mary and Charles, however, find themselves enjoying more a quiet life in the country with their children than one at the Court, mostly because Henry is becoming more cruel and dangerous. Their life proceeds mostly happily, and the book ends with Mary's death.I was glad to see Mary getting what she wanted, but I expected Henry to be more angry with her. The whole matter, which was presented to be such a big deal, was risolved way too easily in my opinion. I also wish Plaidy had developed more Mary's growing fear of Henry. We all know how Henry turned out to be in real life, but in the book his evolution wasn't much shown. Mary's sudden dislike and fear of her adored brother seemed a little out of place. It is a pity, because it could have been an interesting and fresh view on Henry's character.Alena
Oh my god!! So i'm on a Tudor craze right now! Just started watching "The Tudors" i used to b really into them when i was a kid, i read the entire "Young Royals" collection! So i'm watching "Tudors" and then i realize that i've never heard of Margaret Tudor before! -in the show she marries Charles Brandon after smothering her new husband - The king of Portugal with a pillow! Soon after she dies from Tuberculosis ;( So of course i HAVE to know more! So after a little research i'd learned about Margaret AND Mary Tudor- both sisters of the king! Margaret was the one who supposedly killed the Portuguese king after Henry made her marry him! And obviouslyMary was the the one who had the whole "Charles Brandon" thing! I guess they combined two charectors 4 the show! Anyway the Charles/Margaret storyline drew me in and here i am!! Just got the book today already half-way through!!Katie
Talk about a depressing, evil time in the history of the world! The characters in this book seemed only concerned about themselves, had no regard for human life or morality and were not happy. The worst part is that it is true. I find it sad that little girls currently wish to be princesses. If this book depicts what life is like for a princess, I wouldn't want to wish that on anyone!On the bright side, I thought the author did a good job of taking historical facts and making the events and people depicted realistic. I am not a history buff, and maybe this is why.