This novelization is about the life of Elizabeth the First from age 13 to 15. ((1547-1549) It begins when her father, Henry the Eighth dies, and her little brother Edward age 9 takes the throne under the protectorship of his uncle Edward Seymour.
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Elizabeth lives at this time with her stepmother Catherine Parr who marries Thomas Seymour, Edward's younger brother. Catherine has been a good parent to Elizabeth, her older sister Mary, and young Edward. In the late years of Henry's reign, she brought the family back together, and saw to it that the children received a good education.
Elizabeth's greatest difficulty in these years is dealing with Thomas Seymour and his influence on Catherine. Thomas begins to wake Elizabeth by coming into her bed and tickling her, and before long Catherine joins him in this. On one occasion, Catherine pins Elizabeth's arms behind her back, while Thomas uses his knife to cut her gown off her into shreds. Elizabeth feels a huge amount of guilt, but Thomas succeeds in seducing her. The pregnant Catherine sends Elizabeth away when she finds her in Thomas's arms.
Thomas also covets political power, and is plotting to take the protectorship away from his brother Edward. John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland who Thomas believed to be a friend betrays him. Dudley's son Robin, a longtime childhood friend of Elizabeth plays an important role in getting him arrested.
Elizabeth and her life long nurse Kat Ashley, and household manager John Parry are implicated in the plot. They are accused of trying to arrange a marriage to Thomas Seymour without the approval of the King and the privy council. Elizabeth survives this ordeal by using her intelligence, wits, and strength of character.
The review of this Book prepared by Susan Coffey