Marrying the king in secret, Elizabeth finds herself on the throne of England and begins to carve out a place for her family and friends. Set over the course of her reign and just a little beyond, the book sometimes feels rushed and disjointed, with breaks of up to five years between the segments. Sometimes romantic and dramatic, the book also falls into periods of repetition. If she mentions the Goddess Melusina once, she mentions it a dozen times, same with the curse locket and how she hates the tower. There is also quite a bit of clumsy foreshadowing used in the book. In addition Philippa Gregory decides to add a dash of fantasy to the mix by taking the 'witchcraft' rumours and running with them. Injecting the supposed power of curses into this book as real, takes a great deal away from the actual political machinations. The writing is clunky at times and the opening part of the book reads more like a romance novel.
Despite the above however, I did enjoy the book. The action was fast paced and though we know the outcome of the story, Philippa manages to make it exciting and gripping. The book ends rather abruptly and I will be certainly be picking up The Red Queen to continue the tale.