The Stolen One
Sixteen-year-old orphan Katherine Bab, bold in appearance and manner, knows she is meant for more than a rustic country life. Marriage to a pear farmer certainly isn’t her idea of a happy ending. So when her foster mother dies, Kat travels to London to learn the truth about her parentage. Her embroidery skills gain her entry into Queen Elizabeth’s court. Soon her vivacious personality and unruly red hair capture the attention of the queen herself. When she becomes a favorite among the royal ladies-in-waiting, she is assailed by suitors… and rumors. Could she be the Virgin Queen’s secret daughter?
The Stolen One’s many strengths include its engaging first-person voice, exquisite attention to period detail, and page-turning pace. Though the novel is not a fantasy, the mystery surrounding Kat’s birth and the glamour of Queen Elizabeth’s court add considerable magic to the tale. One might argue that the characterization of Kat’s suitors could be more compelling. Two would-be lovers are rather transparent in wanting her for the wrong reasons, while the other is absent for most of the book. Nevertheless, Kat is so captivating that her story succeeds despite the lack of a strong romantic hero. In fact, the most fascinating “pairing” may be that between Kat and the queen. This novel is suitable for readers 14 and up. Some familiarity with Elizabethan England will enhance the reading experience.