THE RED QUEEN’S DAUGHTER by Jacqueline Kolosov


Age Range: 14 & up
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A firecracker premise fails to ignite in this tedious historical fantasy. Lady Mary Seymour, daughter of Henry VIII’s last queen and her fourth disastrous marriage, is determined to swear off romantic love forever, especially when her guardian, the fey Lady Strange, reveals Mary’s destiny as a white magician and protector of the Virgin Queen Elizabeth’s reign. But life in the royal court is full of intrigue, treachery and traps, the most dangerous being the ambitious enchantress Vivienne Gascoigne, and Mary’s own cousin, Edmund Seymour, a devilishly handsome black magician. Despite the inherently fascinating plot and the author’s gift for poetic imagery, the leisurely pacing fails to generate excitement. Repetitive catalogues of the properties of herbs and the magical powers of gemstones substitute for world-building, and the continual insistence that various characters are charming, intelligent or malicious grows wearisome when they demonstrate no such traits. It’s a relief when after nearly 200 pages the promised sinister but entrancing villain finally appears; alas, he is as dull as all the rest. Room is left for a sequel, but few will care. (Fantasy. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4231-0797-2
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2007