Book Review: His Dark Lady

His Dark Lady by Victoria LambHis Dark Lady by Victoria Lamb

The blurb: London, 1583.

When young, aspiring playwright William Shakespeare encounters Lucy Morgan, one of Queen Elizabeth I’s ladies-in-waiting, the two fall passionately in love. He declares Lucy the inspiration for his work, but what secret is Will hiding from his muse?

Meanwhile, Lucy has her own secret – and one that could destroy her world if exposed. No longer the chaste maid so valued by the Virgin Queen, she also bore witness to the clandestine wedding of Lettice Knollys and Robert Dudley, a match forbidden by the monarch.

England is in peril. Queen Elizabeth’s health is deteriorating, her throne under siege from Catholic plotters and threats of war with Spain. Faced with deciding the fate of her long-term prisoner, Mary, Queen of Scots, she needs a trusted circle of advisors around her now more than ever. But who can she turn to when those closest to her have proved disloyal?

And how secure is Lucy’s position at court, now that she has learned the dangerous art of keeping secrets?

My review: I was eagerly looking forward to book 2 in the Lucy Morgan series and I wasn’t disappointed with Victoria Lamb’s sequel. She’s really developed the characters of Lucy Morgan and Will Shakespeare and you really feel for their tricky personal situations as you follow the story through. I was also pleased to see more of Master Goodluck, Lucy’s guardian as I enjoyed the parts with him and Walsingham, the spy-master general.

This is a much more detailed book than The Queen’s Secret, not in historical accuracy, both books create a real sense of time and place. But in plot strands, religious and political intrigues on a larger scale and the workings of the city of London and the main Elizabethan Court were bound to create a larger scope than the Queen’s progress at Kenilworth. Consequently as a reader you were more immersed in the historical surroundings Lamb creates, plus being a Londoner it was interesting to look at the City from a different viewpoint.

All in all a gripping read, the plots especially to overthrow the Queen bring in a great sense of drama. Definitely a worthy sequel although for me The Queen’s Secret just pips it to the post.

7 out of 10 stars! *******

BUY ME! His Dark Lady

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