The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer - Lucy Weston Let me start this review by saying that I have read tons of Tudor literature. From Weir’s actual histories, to Jean Plaidy’s historical fictions and much more in the realm of Tudor and not once have I ever read a book that no matter how much I loved it or thought the book was a fantastical representation have I ever thought that Elizabeth’s voice was so truly portrayed.

In the moonlight, the scaffold appears to be made of bleached bones from one of the leviathans that wash up on our shores from time to time to general alarm, for what godly world encompasses such creatures? The platform is raised high above the crowd of gray shadows gathered around its base. A woman climbs slowly, carrying the weight of her anguish and fear. She holds her hands clutched in front of her, asthough in prayer. Stepping out onto the platform, she steps into the beast’s gaping maw and is devoured.
Sometimes the woman in my vision is my mother; other times she is I.

I felt that Weston’s writing and dialogue were so true to how I imagine Elizabeth that I was instantly drawn into her novel and I stayed interested all the way through. If you know my blog at all you will know that I am in no way a fan of mash-ups. I really dislike the concepts of most and laugh at the ridiculousness of the elemental plot, and have tried to read several usually abandoning them by page twenty or so.

The beginning of this novel takes a young Elizabeth through her coronation and shows us the start of the Golden Age as it began. However Elizabeth is immediately met with a supernatural problem that will affect all of her beloved England in the form of Mordred the bastard son of Arthur who did not die on the battlefield when he slayed his father as historical accounts portray. He was in fact given a choice for eternal life and has waited thousands of years for Elizabeth, an actual descendant of Morgaine le Fey to be born so that he can turn her and rule England always with his eternal queen.

A king cannot afford to show weakness. I learned that from my father, who learned it too late to save himself. I was his weakness, as it happens. Arthur loved me despite my failings, so he claimed, when all I wanted was to be loved for them.
Tant pis, as the French say. Too bad.

Elizabeth being Protestant has some immediate issues with Mordred’s offer. How can she risk her immortal soul even if Mordred promises her he can make England the capitol of the world and save her from her mortal enemies such as The Pope, and her Spanish brother-in-law? She is captivated by Mordred’s beauty but as she learns the twisted vine he has wielded to make sure she became Queen some day and what people in her life were sacrificed by him to make that an assurance her will to defeat him becomes even stronger. Even with her slaying powers will it be enough to defeat the ethereally gorgeous King of the Vampire?

The characters that Weston has used in this fictionalized Elizabethan Age are a perfect pick, the book moves quickly while building on suspense and giving you just enough details and back story as you go to keep you hooked. The book was slated for release in early January but the release was bumped up to today! So you can grab a copy for yourself and one for a friend for Christmastime! I highly suggest that you do so whether you are a fan of the mash-up or like me a skeptic of the sub-genre.