THE SPYMASTER’S DAUGHTER
7 August 2012
Rating: 4 Cups
Daughter of Queen Elizabeth’s most cunning advisor, Lord Francis Walsingham, Lady Frances Sidney is unsatisfied with her life as a noble lady. She wishes to join her father’s spy network and use her shrewd mind for the benefit of Queen and country. Unfortunately for Frances, her father does not believe a woman’s mind suited to such work. When her husband, Phillip Sidney, is sent to war, Frances is called to court to serve as one of Elizabeth’s ladies.
The court of Queen Elizabeth is full of intrigues and illicit trysts between bored nobles, but Frances has no time for such things. She wishes to prove herself an adept spy. With the help of her father’s servant, Robert Pauley, she begins to delve into a plot to put Mary Queen of Scots on the English throne. Though she gains the queen’s interest, Frances also receives unwanted interest from others at court.
As England’s enemies are plotting to overthrow Queen Elizabeth, Frances must face her own challenges. Daily, she is humiliated by the common knowledge that her husband has been unfaithful. Soon, her own fidelity is called into question, and she is torn between two suitors—one the queen’s own favorite and the other far beneath her station. In the end, she will need her formidable wit and tenacious spirit to survive the gauntlet of English society in the Virgin Queen’s court.
It is an historical fact that Queen Elizabeth kept one of the most intricate and far flung spy networks of her time. In The Spymaster’s Daughter, readers meet a heroine who is both precariously and uniquely placed to serve her queen. Ms. Westin’s historic details of the Elizabethan court are flawlessly executed, each one drawing her readers deeper into the daily life of the Tudor period. For those who enjoy the books of Phillipa Gregory, Ms. Westin’s novel will be an unexpected treat.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More