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QUEEN'S OWN FOOL by Jane Yolen

QUEEN'S OWN FOOL

By Jane Yolen (Author) , Robert J. Harris (Author)

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-399-23380-6
Publisher: Philomel

With a handful of historical facts and a great deal of research, the prolific and marvelous Yolen has teamed with a Scottish maker of a fantasy board game to spin a historical tale of great immediacy and impact. In Rheims, in 1559, a troupe of street performers captures the eye of the radiant young Queen Mary. Before she knows it, Nicola, an Italian orphan much put upon by her uncle, the leader of the troupe, is taken to be Mary’s own fool, and nicknamed Jardiniere. The rest of the recounting sees Mary through Nicola’s fond but perceptive eye: when the sallow young French king dies and Mary goes back to Scotland, a veritable vipers’ nest of intrigue begins. Mary marries, and marries again; nobles rise up against her and are banished or return, craven, to her service; she bears one son and loses twins. Through it all, Nicola loves and supports her queen, finds humor amidst danger and deception, and in the end, returns to France, and to love, while Mary becomes her cousin Elizabeth’s prisoner. Based deeply in fact and full of detail both luscious and sordid, the story’s length will not discourage any reader who picks it up and begins to be enthralled. (Historical fiction. YA)