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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Queen Mary’s Daughter by Emily-Jane Hills Orford is a book that explores the possibility that there could have been another heir to the Scottish throne, and follows the life of a powerful, well-developed female protagonist, her work, and unusual adventures that bring history to life, compelling readers to ponder on a Scottish history that is culturally rich and filled with possibilities.
The poetic and descriptive nature of the prose gives the story an enjoyable feel that is pure delight to the reader. The dialogues feel real; they drive the plot forward, and they are fundamental in the development of the conflict. Emily-Jane Hills Orford conjures up vivid images like: “Light peeked through the curtains, casting shadows that danced across the plush quilt and left colourful streaks along the walls.” The characters are rich and well-fleshed out and there is a realism infused into the story that makes it irresistible. This novel is a masterpiece, written by a great storyteller, one who leads readers into the workings of the hearts of her characters and allows them to explore the conflicts inherent to human nature.
Queen Mary’s Daughter features powerful themes, including love and family, inheritance, and the dignity of human work. Readers immediately take a liking to Mary Elizabeth from the very first page and her work in the publishing industry is described with much realism, and this realism permeates every scene in Orford’s narrative. I enjoyed the way the conflict builds up and how the author weaves thought-provoking questions into the narrative. I enjoyed Orford’s characters very much. The story is as entertaining as it is believable.