Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Book Review- DOOMED QUEENS






Kris Waldherr, author and illustrator of Doomed Queens- Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends From Cleopatra to Princess Di , has created an-all around engaging and entertaining historical read. Beautifully illustrated, the dreamy-eyed queens, accompanied by their fellow skeletons, meet their final tragic fate; recollected in this captivating book.

Not only does this novel tell us about the lives of these queens, it does so in a concise, yet complete, summary of events that takes us back to that particular time in history. Despite the dark finales (after all, the book’s about ‘doomed queens’), Kris Waldherr’s writing style is upbeat and witty, making it so much fun to read, you just won’t be able to put it down.

I loved the way the author was able to keep me interested in every queen by keeping it brief, filled with information and detailed with lovely illustrations to complement the scene. The ‘Cautionary Moral’ at the end of every story is hilarious as well as to the point. This book is definitely a wonderful initiation for anyone who would like to begin learning about important historical figures.

It’s especially important to note that this book is unique in its conception. First of all, it’s very rare to see a book this original in its creativity…would you believe that the front and back covers are actually ‘queen cut-outs’? This book is completely interactive. It contains a Graphic key to explain the cause of each queen’s death; an illustrated timeline; an historical explanation sidebar in every chapter, as well as a quiz; queens’ quotes; the method of death and so much more. The grand finale of this book is the quiz that you take for yourself to know whether you too, are a doomed queen…Very special.

From the introduction, p.7

‘Welcome to your favorite dream – and worst nightmare. You are cosseted in silk, crowned with gold, and bowed to. Courtiers laugh at your jokes and compliment your beauty, even when you know you’re having a bad hair day. All envy you, but things change…
No matter how your end finally arrives, one truth remains: Your fall from grace is not your call, though your actions may encourage it. It is your fate. After all, you are a doomed queen- and, if one is to go by the lessons of history, the only good queen is a dead one.”


The ultimate reading entertainment…It’s definitely one of a kind!

-

8 comments:

Arleigh said...

I love this book! I've browsed my copy several times, but I need to take the time to read it word for word. It is definitely an eye-catcher in the store. I was not shopping specifically for it the day I bought it, but one look and I had to have it!

Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

Me three...I adored this one! It was so informative, but witty and clever and I loved the illustrations! Great review!

TammiMagee said...

I've been wanting this book for a while-thanks for the review!

Ingrid Mida said...

Thanks for this post Lucy. It sounds like the perfect book for me. I loved the quote about the courtiers complimenting your beauty even when you know you are having a bad hair day. It sounds like the author has a wicked sense of humour. I feel like running to the bookstore!

Ms. Lucy said...

Hello Ladies!!! Thanks so much for your comments:) I'm glad we share the same taste in humour and history. This book's got both, plus all that creativity (hey-that's another thing we all have incommon;) Have a great evening.

sallymandy said...

This sounds like a really smart way to present these depressing stories! When I read Mary Queen of Scotts by Antonia Fraser, I was so moved by it; and I promised myself I'd read about more doomed queens. But I never did! I keep remembering the execution scene. Aaaggh. Maybe this would be a little more fun?

Ms. Lucy said...

I know exactly what you mean Sallymandy, I too get so down when I read about those executions. I think that with this book, it helps when you already know the history for some of these queens...this way you can keep up with the upbeat style of the book. But, in general, this book does give you the picture without you living it through every detail- much lighter read (not like when reading the Fraser or George book). Thanks for your comment. Talk to you soon:)

Sarah said...

I've just discovered your blog and have added myself as a follower. I've added this book to my shopping list and look forward to reading this one. I found your blog through Sandra Gulland's site. She had left a comment on a post I wrote about one of her books. I'm thrilled to find both Enchanted by Josephine and the HF Bloggers Round Table.
Do you know about the new blog, Food for Thought? You might enjoy joining in with an edible book review of your own. foodforthoughtediblebooks.blogspot.com