Weir (Innocent Traitor) lends her considerable historical knowledge to the early years of England's famous queen in this absorbing second novel. The tale chronicles the life of Elizabeth I from her early childhood to her coronation, through the final years of her father, Henry VIII, and the brief reigns of her siblings, Edward VI and Queen Mary. Renowned for her ""mercurial temperament"" and ""formidable intelligence,"" in Weir's account Elizabeth spends her childhood shuttling between royal estates and preparing for life as a ""great lady"" after she is stripped of her position as successor to the British throne following the execution of her mother, Anne Boleyn. As Elizabeth grows, her progressive views on women's roles, religion, and politics take shape-including her legendary vow never to marry, forged through observation of others' relationships as well as a painful first-hand brush with romance at age fourteen. Weir's Elizabeth is nuanced and enchanting, and the author lends a refreshing perspective to well-known characters and events in British history, such as the fates of her father's six wives and the brief reign of Lady Jane Grey, the subject of her first historical novel. History buffs will enjoy this entertaining look into the rarely explored early life of one of England's most fascinating characters.