England’s throne is left in a precarious state after the death of King Henry VIII. His son is weak and not expected to live a long life and his daughters, Catholic Mary and Protestant Elizabeth, once declared bastards are once again legitimate heirs to the throne. Upon Edward’s death Mary must fight for her throne and her rightful place as Queen of England. Once Mary has won back her throne she is determined to bring England back to the true faith and to reunite her with Rome thus starting the reign of terror, the reign of Bloody Mary. Mary’s desire to marry Prince Phillip of Spain alienates her even further from her people. In response, the people of England turn to Elizabeth in hopes that she will ascend to the throne as their saviour. Mary soon becomes paranoid that Elizabeth is trying to take her throne and Mary is soon convinced that her beloved sister is her worst enemy. The sisters love for one another soon turns to ice in this Tudor drama.
“The Tudor Throne” is told from both Mary’s and Elizabeth’s point of view, each girl has her own chapter to voice her concerns, feelings and beliefs. Purdy focuses on both characters, but has their relationship take center stage many times throughout the novel. It was interesting to see how their struggles, triumphs and beliefs affected their relationship as sisters and their friendship. To see these points of view was a breath of fresh air from solely focusing on their individual reigns as Queens of England. Normally I am not a fan of novels that flip flop back and forth between characters but Purdy managed to do just this effortlessly without disrupting the flow of the story. The story was thoroughly researched and written in great detail. I did have one small issue with this novel and that was Mary—she just annoyed me! Overall however, it was decent read.