"Mary, Queen of Scots - Queen Without a Country"

Author: Kathryn Lasky
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: The Royal Diaries
Publisher: Scholastic

Really, I could some my review of this book up in two words: Loved it!
Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland since infancy, is engaged to Dauphin Francis de Valois II of France and living in his country with his family to learn the ways of the French court before marrying Francis and becoming Queen of France as well. She and her four Scottish lady's maids (all of them also named Mary) love their life in France but also struggle with homesickness and finding a balance between adopting the French lifestyle and holding onto their Scottish heritage and homeland. The results are often touching and occasionally hilarious.
The story is full of palace intrigue and adventure, as well as run-ins with numerous famous historical figures - Nostradamus, the French poet Ronsard, and of course countless members of royalty.
I think what I loved most about this book, though, is the way it reminded me of my own years as a little girl. Granted, I wasn't a queen before I turned a year old, I wasn't engaged at age four, and I didn't live in a palace, but the questions and wonderings, the angst and worries, the friendships and secrets that I guess must be a universal little-girl thing came through much more strongly in this book than in other books in this series - for me, anyway. I felt like I could identify with Mary much more closely than I have with many of the other characters showcased by this series. Who knows? Maybe it's because we share the same name. : )
Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and as always, any installment in The Royal Diaries series would make a great way to supplement any historical study. These books have a wonderful way of connecting the dots, so to speak, between historical characters and events that we don't always realize go together. If you haven't read The Royal Diaries series, you should start. ASAP. ; )

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