Mary, Bloody Mary

Written by Carolyn Meyer
Review by Nan Curnutt

This story gives voice to Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII, as a young adult. Mary begins by expressing her anger at being promised to King Francis in 1527 when she was just 11, and the apple of her father’s eye. She tells her audience, “I can’t believe my father would pledge me to that disgusting old man!” She soon realizes that her temporary betrothal was only the beginning of her troubles. Mary blames Anne Boleyn, the woman whom she believes is bewitching her father, for her change in status from heir to the throne to bastard and servant to her half-sister, Elizabeth. Through all of her trials, Mary is separated from her mother and everyone she knows and loves. She watches as many of the people who defend her are put to death for their loyalty. Carolyn Meyer does not concentrate on Mary’s later life when religious intolerance labels her “Bloody Mary,” but focuses on the difficulties of growing up unwanted and in danger of her life. This is a well-written book, easy and interesting to read, by an accomplished young adult author. It is part of the Young Royals series. Ages 12+