Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Queen's Bastard was DNF for me

Because I enjoyed the "Walker Papers" so much I was really ready to sink into another C.E. Murphy novel.  I was intrigued by the idea of this great urban fantasy writer taking on the historical genre with "The Queens Bastard."  Ms. Murphy uses the court of Elizabeth I as the inspiration for this new series.  We have a beautiful redheaded "virgin" queen. Then there is the devoted Spymaster and the glittering court who clamour to be near her.  The countries and cities are all fictionally labeled but I saw England in Aulun, France in Gallin and Scotland in Lanyarchan.
The queen of Aulun,  has a bastard daughter in secret who she turns over to the father, the queens Spymaster and lover.  How the heck a queen manages to keep the bastard a complete secret is hard to believe but ok, I will go with it.  The child is raised to be one of the queen's best spys/assissins and she is sent all over the land to infiltrate castles and courts to gather information and remove challenges to the queen's throne.  When making her first visit to court at ten years old, Belinda realizes Queen Lorraine is her mother.  It is during this visit that the young girl commits her assassination on behalf of her parents.  The next chapter and she is grown and poisoning the lord of some castle. All through this are hints of some kind of power she has but these are fleeting and annoying.  I want her to get to the point and move on.  I know she can't throw the whole story into this one book since she is writing a series and this is the first one but that doesn't mean to not move the story along.  I am halfway into the story, literally 200 pages in,  and I am still waiting for something to really happen.  I feel teased but not informed of much.  So far the story is couched in innuendos, suppositions and inferences.  This party might be after that while that party might be planning this and all the while the main character, Belinda/beatrice/rose/rosa is navigating the treacherous paths of court politics.  If you feel I have used a lot of words to say very little that is exactly how I feel about this book. 
There maybe some readers who revel in working through all of the parts of convolutes stories, alas, I am not one of them.  What I loved about the "Walker Papers", the constant movement toward the end even if there were twists, turns and a couple of pauses to get there is missing in "The Queen's Bastard."  With regret I place it on my DNF list.


Booklogged said...

That's too bad, and after 200 pages. I'd say you gave it more than a fair shake.

Mame Burkett said...

Thanks for your support! I do feel guilty when I put one down. I don't do it often. I am glad C.E. Murphy's other books are really entertaining.