Published by Razorbill
Source: Review copy (thank you razorbill)
It's 1582 and eighteen-year-old Will Lacey's family is in trouble. After years of wasteful spending, his late father has run Lacey Hall to near ruin. Tasked with marrying his family back into fortune, the new Earl of Dorset is all set for a season at court to woo not just the Queen but potential brides with his jousting skills. But when Ellie – a strong-willed girl with nothing to her name but a worthless Spanish title – catches Will's eye, he faces a bigger battle than he could ever have anticipated.
The thing I love most about this book was the main character Ellie. I loved how she was strong willed and clever in an era than required women to be neither. I loved how even though she had this rebellious streak she was still very much bound by her father's wishes and I liked seeing how she dealt with that. I loved following her story as the book progress and felt for her during the bad bits and cheered for her during the good bits. I loved the Lacey boys especially Will and enjoyed meeting Lady Jane and seeing how relationships built up and changed between the main characters as the story developed.
I also loved how intelligently witty this book was and how it was actually quite modern in its ideas about society. The banter between the main characters was fab and I enjoyed how insightful it was. It didn't stick to traditional view history has on how these people would have lived but actually looks at them and their lives much more realistically and therefore made the main characters more easy to relate to. The story gave a good realistic insight into life during the Tudor period which I really appreciated.
I won't say too much about the story so that I don't give too much away but I will say I enjoyed the twists and turns that it went through. I liked the high drama of court (and all the famous names that popped up) and contrast of that drama with the ordinary lives in the villages.
Definitely one of the best Historical fiction titles I have picked up in a long while as it managed to hold my interest well (despite being a history teacher my tolerance for Historical fiction can be a little limited at times) with fab character who I can't wait to meet again in book 2.