Extracts from selected reviews of THE QUEEN'S SECRET, Bantam Press
Bookgeeks - review by Frances Moloney
The combination of romance and thriller work well in this novel, as the plot is not only romance, but has a strong undercurrent of deceit, intrigue and scandal which adds to the story and keeps the reader engaged with the characters throughout.
Goodluck echoes C J Sansom’s Shardlake, and the writing evokes Gregory, putting Lamb’s novel alongside the best of historical fiction. Lamb captures the finery and excitement of life at court alongside the scandal which lies beneath its glimmering facade in great detail really bringing it to life.Novelicious - review by Cesca Martin
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The sights and smells of Tudor England were on every page – the grim ride across country, the smells of unwashed people crammed together in the July heat, the splendour of the castle and all the royal trappings were fantastically drawn ... There was a great energy throughout and a rip-roaring ending that will get your wigs askew!Any fans of books by Philippa Gregory and the like need look no further. This book has been thoroughly researched and should therefore prove popular even with the Tudor boffs on the lookout for errors. 8/10
Victoria Lamb has a real talent for bringing the ways of the Tudor court vividly alive and off the page. It's far more than just research with every available fact shoe-horned in lest it be wasted - but rather someone who knows the period inside out and who is talking about it with assured confidence ... Lamb has a very delicate touch when it comes to information.
I loved this novel. I really enjoyed reading it, and I felt that the intrigue and pace of the story was sustained throughout the whole book. There are some very amiable and entertaining characters ... The storyline has many interesting and engaging strands, and secrets abound, including the secret that the Queen hides.... I felt like I was in the very safe hands of a gifted storyteller whilst reading this thoroughly researched, compelling, and convincing debut novel.
Lamb illuminates every detail of the era, from the splendid elegance of the Queen’s Privy Garden to the castle’s stinking alleyways to the heavy weight of Elizabeth’s jeweled skirts, whose delicate fabric will take her ladies hours to repair, to their chagrin ...
The writing is crisp and clean, and readers will feel involved in every aspect of life during their 19-day stay at Kenilworth. For those who want to imagine this particular moment in time, with all the personal dramas happening all around, this book is the place to be.
A very enjoyable read for those of us who are still looking for more Elizabethan historical fiction; if you haven’t been reading any for a while, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by The Queen’s Secret. Recommended.
Selected reviews of WITCHSTRUCK (Corgi Books, Young Adult romance)
Historical Novel Society Review - review by Lorraine Gregory
... Witchstruck is a really good read with plenty of action and romance plus a feisty heroine. Also it has been very well drawn from a historical perspective with many interesting details integrated into the story. I think this book would be well received by young girls who enjoy some action and drama in their romance and a bit of magic in their history.
Lisa's Books - review by Lisa Redmond
An amazing and absorbing new series with a believable heroine and a real sense of danger, the publishers are marketing this as Phillippa Gregory crossed with Twilight. Yes, it is set in the Tudor era and there are real historical characters including the future Queen Elizabeth and the reigning Queen Mary but this is not Twilight. It is so much better ... Meg is a stronger and more realistic heroine than Bella Swan and Victoria Lamb has really done her research ... I cannot wait to read more of this series. It is better than Philippa Gregory.
Feminist Fiction - review by Rhiannon
This novel is full of great female characters, and is an easy Bechdel pass. Meg is a passionate and determined protagonist, and her mentor/friend relationship with her witch aunt Jane is great to read. However, the highlight, for me, was the young Elizabeth, who seems to have taken advanced lessons from the Sansa Stark school of “strong female characters.” Any misstep on her part will mean execution, yet she is always compassionate, dignified and incredibly intelligent, playing the part of the loving, repenting sister and manipulating those around her to ensure her survival.
Oh, and there’s a fun romance between Meg and a young priest-in-training who is sent to watch and teach Elizabeth. This is YA, after all.
Selected reviews of HIS DARK LADY (Bantam, 2013)
Mel's Random Reviews - review by Mel
I loved the politics and emotional tempests of the Queen. I enjoyed the action and spy elements of Master GoodLuck. And the writing was wonderfully atmospheric and places you right in the middle of sixteenth century London. There is a lot of background knowledge of the theatres and London’s Cheapside at that time which helps build a picture of the era without overwhelming.
Recommended for fans of Phillippa Gregory and Anne O’Brien. 8 out of 10