Book Review: The Marriage Game

I received The Marriage Game by Alison Weir through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Publication Date: February 10, 2015

I am a huge fan of Alison Weir.  I own several of her historical non-fiction accounts of the Tudors so I was really excited to see this on NetGalley.  Most of my reading about the Tudors has been concentrated on Henry VIII and his wives.  This historical fiction is about Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

It begins as Mary Tudor dies and Elizabeth takes the crown to become Queen of England.  Most of the book is about the constant games Elizabeth plays between different realms in the search for a husband, thus the title The Marriage Game.  Elizabeth has absolutely no intentions of marrying so all of these proceedings are meant to string along her suitors in the hopes of keeping alliances and friendships.  This continues for many, many years.

I have an ebook copy of this for my Kindle and there are no page numbers but this quote from around 51% at location 3217 of 6259 sums up pretty much how I felt about the situation.

They were all watching her; Cecil, impatient after years of what he was pleased to call dithering; Norfolk, fearful lest she throw herself away-as he would see it-on Robert; Sussex and others, weary of these constant debates about this marriage and that, and impatient to see the matter settled; and Robert himself, willing her-badgering her, in fact-to declare her intention of having him.

This book made me dislike Elizabeth.  To me she seemed very manipulative and narcissistic.  Which I guess is inevitable when it comes to royalty but this just made me not like her at all.

Even with my dislike of Elizabeth, I did like this book.  I thought it was an interesting subject and liked the way that Weir structured the book.  Rather than chapters, it was divided by years.  It was very interesting to see how Elizabeth aged, which did not seem to be very well, and that even though she was manipulative with her counselors and suitors, she held the love of her people for a very long time.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading historical fiction or has a particular interest in the Tudors of Elizabeth herself.

I give this book a score of 4 out of 5.


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