Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Friday, 19 July 2013

Book Beginnings (5) - His Dark Lady by Victoria Lamb

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays

The idea, as stated on the host's blog, is 'to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.' There's a hash tag #BookBeginnings for twitter etc too, and a master linky list on the host's blog. I've got a couple of books on the go at the moment so I've just picked one out to mention here.

My Book Beginning

His Dark Lady by Victoria Lamb

Published by Bantam 

Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, April 1578

'Hands clasped in prayer, Lucy bent her head, watching a stag-horned beetle crawl across the rushes. Her knees hurt on the stone floor, its cold striking into her bones through the thin embroidered cushion on which she knelt. They would not have much longer to wait, she told herself. Her mind drifted to the past and she struggled to drag it back to prayer, to the present moment, to this small draughty room high up in the castle keep. Her back ached as well as her knees; her sleep had been disturbed last night. Too many unhappy memories in this place. Perhaps she should not have agreed to return to Kenilworth.'

I'm two-thirds of the way through reading this one and enjoying it a lot - it's great to be back with the characters from the first book, The Queen's Secret, like Lucy Morgan, Goodluck, a certain Will Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I...

Here's the synopsis from the author's website:

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? 


  1. I enjoyed reading Victoria Lamb's first book The Queen's Secret and have a copy of His Dark Lady sitting waiting patiently on my tbr shelf.

    Sounds like you're enjoying this one Lindsay :)

    1. Thanks for commenting Josie. I hope you enjoy this one too when you read it. :)

  2. Ooh this one sounds good! Glad that you are enjoying because the beginning shows that this is beautifully written.

    My Friday Hops

    1. Thanks for your comment Vonnie :)

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Laurel-Rain! :)

  4. This sounds like an enjoyable step back in time. Glad you are enjoying it.

    Here's my Friday post:

    1. Thanks Catherine for your comment. Yes I enjoy historical fiction more and more when I get chance to read some, it's great to escape.

  5. I love historical English novels and this opening sounds great.

  6. This does sound good. I hope you are enjoying the story. Happy reading!

  7. The premise of this books sounds absolutely lovely! I think I need to add this one to me To Read list right away. Thanks for visiting me @ The Key to the Gate. Have a great weekend!
    Happy Reading,

  8. I hadn't heard of this one - love that beginning! And the synopsis sounds good too! Enjoy!

  9. Wonderful beginning. I would pick it up!

    Here is my post


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