Review: The Lost Duchess by Jenny Barden

We all know there is a ton of historical fiction out there that takes place in Elizabethan England….typically in the court.

The market is simply flooded…so how do you create a new and different take on a saturated topic?

Well you take your Elizabethan heroine out of the court!

Emme Fifield is a lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth.

Her life is pretty much wrapped up in the treacherous court and all she has is a good reputation and name.

Well all that changes when she is ruined by a lord who will stop it nothing but to have her. Her reputation and future prospects are a disaster.

Just when she thinks her life at court is over, Sir Francis Drake and his mariner, Kit Doonan, arrive from the new world they bring the promise of adventure.

Soon Sir Walter Raleigh begs leave to return to Virgina and Emme soon finds herself going with him. Though she is traveling under and assumed name with an alter motive.

Sir Francis Walsingham is known in court as the spymaster, he makes the arrangements for Emme to follow them to the new world and report back to him.

Emme embarks on a thrilling adventure full of romance, mystery, intrigue, and adventure on the high seas! What I found most exciting about this novel was the exploration into what might have happened to the ill-fated colony of Roanoke.

This was a new and exciting twist for me in the ‘Tudor lit’ genre. I loved getting out of the traditional court setting and exploring the vast unknown in the new world.

I especially loved the Roanoke island theories in this novel. It’s such a great mystery in history and I loved that the author brought this strange event into the story line.

It’s always fun to speculate and explore theories for some of histories greatest what ifs. So I loved this novel for that! The authors attention to the historic details was second to none! This was not just a novel with a new twist on history or just a great setting, it also had great central characters.

Emme is a mixture of strength and vulnerability that is endearing in this adventure novel. She is brave and bold but she isn’t so strong that it becomes a tragic flaw in here character. The reader gets to see he develop into a strong leading heroine while maintaining approach ability. Readers will easily identify with her and enjoy her throughout the novel.

Likewise, Kit has his own unique, complex back story. I will say that I would have liked to know more about him and would liked to have seen Kit’s back story explored in more depth but overall it satisfied the reader.

Interestingly enough, the love story between Kit and Emme wasn’t the central point in the story. The story wasn’t just about them falling in love, it was more about what they meant to each other.

The setting only highlighted that tender love story. I thought the love story and setting work together hand in hand making this story more rich and complex than just a simple ‘romance’.

This novel has a lot to love and the drama that unfolds is engaging and I appreciated the attention to details. If you are looking for something a little more exotic and a unique than traditional Tudor era historic fiction, then you’ve found the right novel!

Love, adventure, and history culminate and make this novel a truly refreshing read bringing new life and story into a genre that’s dominated with courtly tales in Elizabethan England….this a something new you will want to add to your TBR list!

I reviewed this book as part of The Lost Duchess virtual book tour hosted by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. Be sure to visit the other blog stops on the tour for interviews and giveaways!

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: The Lost Duchess by Jenny Barden

  • Kindle Edition, 448 pages
  • Published November 7th 2013 by Ebury Digital
  • ASIN B00DW4LBKE
  • Review copy provided by: Publisher as part of the HFVBT book tour in exchange for an honest review

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 4 out of 5

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Tudor Lit

Memorable lines/quotes: NA

Virtual Tour & Book Blast Schedule

Monday, May 26

Book Blast at Reading the Ages

Book Blast at Literary Chanteuse

Book Blast at Bibliophilia, Please

Tuesday, May 27

Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews

Book Blast at Flashlight Commentary

Book Blast at To Read or Not to Read

Wednesday, May 28

Review at Carole’s Ramblings and Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell

Thursday, May 29

Book Blast at The Maiden’s Court

Book Blast at Cheryl’s Book Nook

Book Blast at Book Reviews & More by Kathy

Friday, May 30

Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Book Blast at The Mad Reviewer

Book Blast at Curling Up by the Fire

Saturday, May 31

Book Blast at From L.A. to LA

Book Blast at Gobs and Gobs of Books

Sunday, June 1

Book Blast at Lily Pond Reads

Book Blast at So Many Books, So Little Time

Monday, June 2

Review & Giveaway at The Tudor Enthusiast

Book Blast at The Bookworm

Book Blast at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, June 3

Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Book Blast at West Metro Mommy

Book Blast at bookworm2bookworm’s Blog

Wednesday, June 4

Review at The Wormhole

Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Book Blast at Kelsey’s Book Corner

Thursday, June 5

Book Blast at Books and Benches

Book Blast at Book Lovers Paradise

Friday, June 6

Interview at Dianne Ascroft Blog

Book Blast at Kincavel Korner

Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes

Saturday, June 7

Book Blast at Royal Reviews

Book Blast at History Undressed

Sunday, June 8

Book Blast at Book Nerd

Monday, June 9

Review at A Chick Who Reads

Book Blast at The Musings of a Book Junkie

Tuesday, June 10

Review at She Reads Novels

Book Blast at Just One More Chapter

Book Blast at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, June 11

Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Book Blast at Books in the Burbs

Thursday, June 12

Book Blast at Big Book, Little Book

Book Blast at Historical Fiction Notebook

Friday, June 13

Review at Susan Heim on Writing

Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Saturday, June 14

Book Blast at Hardcover Feedback

Book Blast at One Book at a Time

Sunday, June 15

Book Blast at Passages to the Past

Monday, June 16

Review at Layered Pages

Review at Starting Fresh

Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Tuesday, June 17

Review at The Lit Bitch

Book Blast at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Wednesday, June 18

Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading

Book Blast at Princess of Eboli

Thursday, June 19

Review at A Bookish Affair

Review at Little Reader Library

Book Blast at Girl Lost in a Book

Friday, June 20

Review at Broken Teepee

Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Review at The Musings of ALMYBNENR

Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

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2 Comments

  1. Fabulous review, Anne. I am so glad that you loved The Lost Duchess! Thank you for hosting the tour!

    Reply

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