Wednesday, 24 March 2010
TWYLIGHT TOWER by Karen Harper
I had intended reading The Poyson Garden as part of the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge on Royal Reviews, but when I went to reserve at my local library, it was no longer on the catalogue.
So that's the reason for reading Twylight Tower.
This story is set in 1560 and Elizabeth 1 has sent William Cecil to Scotland for negotiations with Mary. Cecil is uneasy about leaving on this journey as Elizabeth has been spending too much time with Robert Dudley, and not enough attention on affairs of state.
Shortly after Cecil departs for Scotland, the court's master lutenist plunges to his death from the parapet (near Elizabeth's chamber). It is assumed that he accidently fell after drinking too much, but the other loyal servants of the Queen are not so sure, and believe he was pushed.
Onto the scene appears a young musician and begs to be taken into the Queen's service. This lutenist is good, but something is not right. It soon is discovered that the musician is a girl (it was first though the musician was a eunach).
Elizabeth feels that she is being watched all the time, but dismisses this as being upset at the death of her previous musician.
Robert Dudley is constantly in the Queen's attendance, eventhough his wife Amy Robsart is ailing and living in the country. We know that Robert is ambitious and will do anything to reach the top.
There are twists and turns in this story, always including the workings of the Royal Court, with all its intrigues and jealousies.
The Spanish Ambassador is also at court, lobbying for Elizabeth to take a husband, and building up a network of spies around the palace.
Tradedy strikes close to the throne, when Elizabeth is almost killed whilst performing in one of the plays that she enjoys.
The death of Amy Robsart brings tragedy close to the throne also and suffice to say that the young lutenist wreaks her revenge on the Queen with this incident.
It transpires that she is one of the bastard offspring from King Henry's time.
I am become quite involved with the characters in this series and look forward to reading the other books.
Here are the pages that I have created for my Historical Reading Journal