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A Noble Assassin

A Noble Assassin - Christie Dickason This book follows on from The King's Daughter but isn't strictly a sequel, it can be read as a stand-alone story. Instead of continuing to follow the fortunes of Elizabeth Stuart, it focuses on the fate of Lucy Russell, the daughter of Elizabeth's guardian and Chief Lady of Queen Anne of Denmark introduced in the first book. Fate hasn't been kind to Lucy and she has fallen on hard times since the death of the Queen. Her only chance to shine at court again is to get Elizabeth and her husband to return to England and set up court with her father. But for political reasons, King James doesn't want her back in England, nor will he send armies to protect his daughter who is now in exile in the Hague. So Lucy takes it upon herself to orchestrate Elizabeth's return. Although Lucy wants Elizabeth back for her own personal reasons there are others who would like to see the return of the First Daughter of England for darker reasons and Lucy becomes embroiled in their plotting...

This book has it all: deceit, murder, treason, secret affairs...so why didn't I enjoy it as much as 'The King's Daughter'? It's hard to say - the story is interesting and the subject new to me (although Lucy was a major historical figure at the time). It is well written and the detail impressive. I think the biggest problem was probably that I was expecting more of 'The King's Daughter'. I ended up comparing Lucy and Elizabeth having read both books back to back. Elizabeth struck me as being innocent and pragmatic, whereas Lucy came across as selfish and sentimental. Far too much time was spent on the details of Lucy's affair with John Donne, from the blurb I had expected more cloak-and-dagger. Also, I felt the pace was slower. I think that had I read this book on its own rather than straight after 'The King's Daughter' it would have fared better but as it was I was expecting something else. A future reread may well earn this book an extra star.