Book Review | Queen Mary’s Daughter by Award-Winning Author @ejhomusic #historicalfiction #timetrave
Title: Queen Mary’s Daughter
Author: Emily-Jane Hills Orford
Genre: Historical Fiction, Time Travel, Alternative History
There are so many possibilities that affect the course of history. One change, one small item overlooked, can make a world of difference, not only in a person's life, but in the history and well-being of an entire nation. And then there are those multiple scenarios of what if? What if King James VI of Scotland didn't succeed in amalgamating Scotland with England? What if there had been another heir to the throne of Scotland? One who would secure its independence? Would Scotland have remained free and independent and a nation of its own well into the twenty-first century? And would Scotland, this independent version, make its own decision to join the European Union when its southern neighbor was choosing to pull away? Queen Mary's Daughter presents another plausible timeline, one that incorporates both historical fact and fiction with the endless possibilities of time travel.
Mary Elizabeth Stuart grew up in her grandmother’s home, learning everything she could about Scotland and Scottish history. She learned how to fight and defend herself. Now, after grieving the loss of her grandmother, she travels to Kinross, Scotland to discover more about her family history. She stays at a quaint bed and breakfast but is drawn to Loch Leven. She can’t explain it but is compelled to walk around. She agrees to go across the water with a mysterious man named Jamie Stuart, who lives in town and visits the bed and breakfast where she’s staying. While touring the Loch, she’s transported through time to the 16th century. She witnesses Queen Mary’s birth and with a baby in her arms, follows orders to flee. Little does she know, Mary Elizabeth is about the change the course of history, hers and Scotland’s. Through the encouragement of those she loves, Mary Elizabeth is on a mission to free Scotland from England’s control. Will she succeed or will all the factions sworn to stop her be victorious? A whole nation’s freedom from oppression rides on her small shoulders.
What an adventurous historical fiction! I connected with Mary Elizabeth right away and her plight. Everything she goes through and everything she learns about her past is believable. Her reactions upon learning whose daughter she really is and the whole time travel thing are honest and I have to say, I might have done the same thing as her.
What makes this a five plus star book? The storytelling, for one. Emily-Jane Hills Orford is dealing with real events and real people. Queen Mary’s Daughter is historically accurate down to the last detail. As someone who’s quite knowledgeable about English and Scottish history in the 16th and 17th century, I appreciate the amount of care the author took to make sure the alternative history rang true. The time travel back and forward in history took some getting used to but moved the plot along at a solid pace. The emotional depth between Mary Elizabeth and the other characters hit me hard and I found myself tearing up here and there. The romance between Mary Elizabeth and Jamie is extremely sweet and innocent.
If you’re looking for a historical fiction which will make you think long and hard about several what if questions concerning Scotland and its independence, you’ll love Queen Mary’s Daughter. Highly recommend!
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I’d review it.
My Rating: 5+ stars
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An avid gardener, artist, musician and writer, Emily-Jane Hills Orford has fond memories and lots of stories that evolved from a childhood growing up in a haunted Victorian mansion. Told she had a ‘vivid imagination’, the author used this talent to create stories in her head to pass tedious hours while sick, waiting in a doctor’s office, listening to a teacher drone on about something she already knew, or enduring the long, stuffy family car rides. The author lived her stories in her head, allowing her imagination to lead her into a different world, one of her own making. As the author grew up, these stories, imaginings and fantasies took to the written form and, over the years, she developed a reputation for telling a good story. Emily-Jane can now boast that she is an award-winning author of several books, including Mrs. Murray’s Ghost (Telltale Publishing 2018), Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure (Telltale Publishing 2019), Queen Mary’s Daughter (Clean Reads 2018), Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and several other books. A retired teacher of music and creative writing, she writes about the extra-ordinary in life and the fantasies of dreams combined with memories. For more information on the author, check out her website at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N