304 pages, Paperback
Children's, 12 years +, Historical
Pious character (both good and bad), Tudor England, William Shakespeare (minor part), courtship (mostly ladylike, although there is a thug who is less than gentlemanly and might have you wanting to punish him), a smidgeon of strong teen romance, gorgeous costumes, realistic scenes, bravery, tough choices, life of the stage, standing up for what you believe in, a tissue will be needed at a few points, lots of humour, family life, court life,
Summary from Puffin Books
1586 - London, England
Sixteen-year-old Mercy Hartis the daughter of one of London's richest - and strictest - cloth merchants.
Kit Turner is an actor and the illegitimate son of the late Earl of Dorset. A chance encounter finds Kit falling for the beautiful Mercy's charms, but their love is forbidden. A merchant's daughter and a vagabond - it simply cannot be.
If Mercy chooses Kit she must renounce her family name and leave her home. Will she favour duty over true love, or will she give Kit his heart's desire?
Nayuleska's reason for loving Mercy...she has brilliantly strong morals, is steadfast to them but isn't too stuffy if situations change. She learns a lot from Kit being in her life, going through some unsavoury situations because of her faith in him. For a spoiler, please highlight the next sentence which is written in white to avoid a spoiler. (You've got to love a girl who uses a stick to fend of a total sleaze)
Is there a character who deserves a special mention? Mercy's grandmother is definitely a personality to be reckoned with! It's clear where Mercy inherited some of here character traits.
Are there plenty of plot twists and surprises? Most definitely yes - I was so scared for both Kit and Mercy at several points, and some parts made me beam at the book.
How evil/nasty is the enemy? Family can be a great support, but they can also be a big opposition if views of children don't match the views of parents/guardians.
One of my favourite parts was....the part written in white between brackets earlier on in this review - and the part where Mercy wears the dress on the front of the book. *happy sigh* It's gorgeous!
I happily give it 10/10!
Find out more about Eve and her books on her website.
I really love the stories involved in this family series, and wholeheartedly recommend them. They can be read individually without needing background knowledge of previous stories. Book one is The Other Countess
and book two is The Queen's Lady