Book Review: The Queen’s Gamble

12 Sep

Young Queen Elizabeth I’s path to the throne has been a perilous one, and already she faces a dangerous crisis. French troops have landed in Scotland to quell a rebel Protestant army, and Elizabeth fears that once they are entrenched on the border, they will invade England.

Isabel Thornleigh has returned to London from the New World with her Spanish husband, Carlos Valverde, and their young son. Ever the queen’s loyal servant, Isabel is recruited to smuggle money to the Scottish rebels. Yet Elizabeth’s trust only goes so far—Isabel’s son will be the queen’s pampered hostage until she completes her mission. Matters grow worse when Isabel’s husband is engaged as military advisor to the French, putting the couple on opposite sides in a deadly cold war.

Set against a lush, vibrant backdrop peopled with unforgettable characters and historical figures, The Queen’s Gamble is a story of courage, greed, passion, and the high price of loyalty . . . 

Barbara Kyle is the author of the Tudor-era “Thornleigh” series of novels, which have been published internationally: The Queen’s Captive, The Queen’s Lady, and The King’s Daughter, praised by Publishers Weekly as “a complex and fast-paced plot, mixing history with vibrant characters.” Her new novel, The Queen’s Gamble, will be released on 30 August 2011.

Barbara previously won acclaim for her contemporary novels under pen name ‘Stephen Kyle’, including Beyond Recall (a Literary Guild Selection), After Shock and The Experiment. Over 400,000 copies of her books have been sold.

Barbara has taught courses for writers at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, and is known for her dynamic workshops for many writers organizations. Her popular series of video workshops “Writing Fiction That Sells” is available through her website. Before becoming an author, Barbara enjoyed a twenty-year acting career in television, film, and stage productions in Canada and the U.S.

Visit www.BarbaraKyle.com.

My Impressions:

The Queen’s Gamble is the 4th novel in Barbara Kyle’s series featuring the Thornleigh family set amid the intrigue and danger of the Tudor era.  If you haven’t read the first three, don’t despair.  You won’t feel like you are missing any information, but you may feel like you should go back and the get the other books just to experience the adventures of this intrepid family.

Isabel Thornleigh Valverde is back in England with her Spanish husband and young son to help her mother escape execution any way she can.  But the mail being what it was (and perhaps still is), her mother has been pardoned and the family rewarded by the new monarch, Elizabeth I, for their service to their crown and country.  But the Queen faces threats from the north as reformers seek to take control of Scotland from the French.  England is called to support the Scottish as Spain tries to decide whether to enter the fray.  Isabel gets caught up in Elizabeth’s schemes and is soon on her way to Scotland to deliver aid and spy as best she can.  And to add to the danger, her husband, Carlos, is representing Spain as a observer and liaison to the French army.

While historical figures show up in this novel full of deception and betrayal, the action is almost all Isabel and her family.  Any fan of Tudor England will be sure to enjoy The Queen’s Gamble.  And while this is a story set in the Elizabethan age, the Queen doesn’t always come off in such favorable light.  Please note: there are instances of adult situations, language and dialogue.  (This is not a Christian novel.)

Monday, September 5th

Guest blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

Tuesday, September 6th

Book reviewed at Reviews by Molly

Wednesday, September 7th

Interviewed at The Hot Author Report

Thursday, September 8th

Book spotlighted at Books, Products and More!

Friday, September 9th

Book reviewed at Broken Teepee

Monday, September 12th

Book reviewed at By the Book

Book spotlighted at The Plot

Tuesday, September 13th

Book reviewed at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Character interviewed at The Plot

Wednesday, September 14th

Book reviewed at Always with A Book

Thursday, September 15th

Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book!

Friday, September 16th

Book reviewed at Cheryl’s Book Nook

Monday, September 19th

Interviewed at Paperback Writer

Tuesday, September 20th

Book reviewed at The Muse in the Fog Book Review

Wednesday, September 21st

Book reviewed at Books, Belles, and Beaux

Thursday, September 22nd

Guest blogging at Literal Exposure

Friday, September 23rd

Book reviewed at Debbie’s Book Bag

Monday, September 26th

Book reviewed at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, September 27th

Book reviewed at Splashes of Joy

Wednesday, September 28th

Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking

Thursday, September 29th

Book reviewed at The Book Connection

Friday, September 30th

Book reviewed at Life in Review

Book reviewed at CelticLady’s Reviews

(I received a copy of The Queen’s Gamble from Pump Up Your Book.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: The Queen’s Gamble”

  1. ccgevry September 12, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    Thanks for the lovely review of Barbara’s latest. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I hope your readers will check it out.

  2. Barbara Kyle September 13, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    I’m delighted that you so enjoyed my novel “The Queen’s Gamble.” Your kind words are much appreciated.

    Love your suggestion that readers will also want to check out the first 3 books in this “Thornleigh” series. The Thornleigh family thanks you – and so do I!

    Barbara Kyle
    http://www.barbarakyle.com

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