Reviews for Kings and Pawns
opheliac chapter 14 . 10/31/2012
CECIL! i'm so glad you included him as a character. i loved the portrayal of him on the movie elizabeth with cate blanchett. i like imagining him a little younger. :) yay! keep updating!
Guest chapter 1 . 10/31/2012
I just found your story and am very pleased with the first chapter. You've done very well introducing your characters and the imagery is excellent. Now, back to reading!
Vanessa chapter 1 . 10/17/2012
This would do really well on under tv under the tudors. There aren't a lot of Edward stories. They are always an audience for that.
CharlotteRose chapter 12 . 10/17/2012
I absolutely love this story! please continue to write! I can't wait to see whether Edward and Margrets realtionship develops!
wordsofjade chapter 12 . 1/21/2012
Can't wait to happen what happens next. I gobble each chapter up :D
Sapphire at Dawn chapter 2 . 1/13/2012
I thought this was another interesting chapter. The story is progressing nicely; there’s enough hints of things to come and establishing the characters to cover for a lack of obvious plot, and at this stage, I quite like that. The hints that Edward may be becoming more deeply involved in Margaret’s life are interesting, as is the picture you paint of Edward’s court.

However, I don’t think Margaret’s character is quite firmly established yet, in fact, I’m not actually getting much off her in terms of characterisation. Granted, this is only the second chapter, but it does make me wonder a little. I think the jump in time in this chapter has something to do with that. Because of it, we don’t really see her getting used to court life and having to adjust as a character, we only hear about it through her conversation with her brother, and I think that detaches her a little and sort of makes it feel that she’s moved on without us. I think it would have been a lot better if we saw a little of her in action, having to overcome a few problems or make a few friends. This way, we could have seen a lot more of her thoughts and feelings, which would endear her more to us as a character.

Something else that sort of goes with this is the perspective of the story. I think another reason for the slightly detached feeling is that it has a detached perspective, that is to say that there isn’t a character from whose point of view we see the story. We see it all as outsiders looking in, with no real attachment. I think the story could do with a clear point of view from one of the characters (preferably Margaret, because you’re setting her up to be the main character), because at the moment, it is weaving in and out of the character’s minds, which can sometimes be a little disconcerting. Choosing one character to tell the story from would give it a much more solid base, and I think certain trains of thought would be more logical. For example, when you start talking about Edward’s looks after the page break in the story, it feels a little disjointed from the rest of the story and like you’ve only put it there because you’ve realised you haven’t yet described what he looks like. If it was told from a character’s point of view, you could have said character noticing his tall stature, pale complexion or whatever, and it wouldn’t seem quite so out of place; there would be logic behind why you are choosing to describe him at that particular moment.

Going with the grammatical side of things, something I noticed in this that I didn’t notice in the previous chapter was errors regarding dialogue punctuation. At the end of the dialogue, before the dialogue tag (the he said/she said part), there should be a comma instead of a full stop/period. So this:

‘"He would not." she whispered to herself blushing.’

There should be a comma after ‘he would not’, so it becomes:

‘”He would not,’ she whispered to herself, blushing.’ (also note the added comma after ‘herself’)

My last point regarding the technical stuff is the paragraph beginning ‘she fell back into the covers and sighed’. Here, you use a lot of ‘Mary’ and ‘Margaret’ at the start of sentences and it sounds rather repetitive and list-like, so I would advise, if you ever come to edit these chapters, a little re-shuffling of words and perhaps structure, as it is rather a bit all over the place in terms of content.

I certainly don’t expect you to change any of these things; you’re eleven chapters into this story already, but they are things you might want to think about should you start another story, or come back and edit this one.

So, onto historical aspects. Something I forgot to mention in the previous chapter was that there wouldn’t actually be many ladies present at the court of an unmarried King. Women had no part in politics in that period, so the only reason a woman would be at court would be to serve the current queen. The King’s sisters would visit and bring their own ladies, but people like your character Margaret would only be there to serve the queen, but here, there isn’t one. Also, women who were in service to the queen would have very little time to themselves, and would certainly not have the leisure of staying in bed in the morning. It is these girls who serve and help the queen when she gets out of bed and washes and dresses. They do things like making up the fires in the queen’s rooms, lay out her clothing, brush her hair and make her bed. They are essentially servants, though they wouldn’t do the meaner tasks. Therefore, realistically, I don’t think, considering the King’s marital state, there would be place for Margaret at court, though I don’t blame you if you ignore this point entirely as it does destroy the whole premise of your story...

I also think that Margaret is having a bit too much of a plushy time at court, drinking spiced wine for breakfast and having carpets in her room. I may be wrong on this as I can’t remember where I read it, but carpets only adorned the rooms of the most important and wealthy of courtiers, so I doubt Margaret, as only the sister of Henry Sidney, who may be the King's friend, but is still only a Knight, would have them. Neither would she have spiced wine for breakfast. I think it was in a book on Henry VIII that I read that maids serving the queen would breakfast on two loaves of bread and a gallon of ale (might have been something in the Eltham Ordinances about this). Even though it is a long time since Henry’s reign, I doubt things have become so prosperous that fairly lowly ranking girls would enjoy spiced wine to drink at breakfast.

Also, regarding names and titles, Margaret wouldn’t be referred to as Lady Margaret. She would be simply Miss, or Mistress, unless her father had a place in the peerage as an Earl or a Duke. Henry’s wife would be a Lady because she is married to a knight. An example to show what I mean because I don’t think I’m doing a good job of explaining... Anne Boleyn was only known as Lady Anne after her father was made Earl of Wiltshire. While he had been Sir Thomas Boleyn, and even I think as Viscount Rochford, Anne was known as Mistress Anne.

Henry would also be called Sir Henry or Sir Henry Sidney, not Sir Sidney. Knights tend to go by first names rather than their surnames.

Regarding the compliancy of Mary’s Mass, Dudley’s Protectorship hounded Mary over her worship of Mass until she felt it necessary to flee the country fearing they’d arrest her. She didn’t actually go through with the plan in the end, but came incredibly close to doing so. I know you’ve said Edward wants to become his own man away from Dudley, but the real life Edward was incredibly dedicated to his religion, and despised Mary’s Catholicism and she came away from several meetings with him in tears because he’d given her such a hard time over it. I think you need to find ways of incorporating your reasons for things happening or not happening into your story, because otherwise they’re just plot holes. Something like one of the ladies Margaret is with gives a brief explanation of why the King isn’t hounding Mary about her religion any more.

Also on the subject of religion, Matins is a catholic service and so wouldn’t be celebrated in a Protestant court.

I hope I don’t sound too harsh with this review. I am actually really enjoying the story. I love the Tudor period, hence all the deconstructing of your story, and I think you’re very good at entering the Tudor world. The story that you’re spinning is very interesting, and I find myself after having read two chapters now that I want to continue.
Sapphire at Dawn chapter 1 . 1/10/2012
I think this is a decent start. You're very talented at telling a tale; the paragraphs flow well into each other and you do keep my interest throughout. However, having said that, I did notice a lot of grammatical mistakes, some that read like typos, but with others there was constant recurrance, so I suggest that you get a beta to help you. The mistakes weren't overly irritating and didn't really detract from my enjoyment of the story, but they were there and noticable. Something else that was more noticable, especially as the chapter progressed, was the constant switching between characters perspectives. It was a little disoriantating and confusing at times. Personally, I'm not a fan of this happening in the middle of a chapter, or paragraph, as in this case, but if you feel you want to include different character's thoughts, I'd at least seperate them with a paragraph before doing so.

I think you've chosen a difficult thing to write about. It's one thing to write about history, but another entirely to change the course of it, and there were things that I thought were off. Firstly, Lady Jane Grey. Obviously, seeing as Edward is alive, she was never proclaimed Queen and executed for it, but I have to ask, why isn't she married? In real life, she was married in May of 1553 to Guilford Dudley, son of the Duke of Northumberland. Why didn't this happen? Also, before that, her father considered other matches for her, one of which was to the king, and Thomas Seymour was asked to try and furthur the idea along. When this didn't seem to be going anywhere, Jane's parents considered Lord Hertford, Protector Somerset's son. I can understand, with the fall of the Duke of Somerset, why these didn't come to plan, and wouldn't in your universe, but why did Jane not marry Guilford?

Secondly, Edward was betrothed to Princess Elisabeth of France before he died, a policy strongly advocated by Dudley, who wanted peace with France. What happened to this? Again, I can see ways in which this might become undesirable and for Dudley to advise Edward to change his policy, but I do think you have to remark on these sort of things, otherwise the story doesn't seem realistic.

I also noticed a few inaccuracies regarding the personalities of the characters. Edward was an incredibly serious child who concealed his emotions and rarely smiled. Having been brought up without a mother under the strict regime in his household, you can see why this was. When he became King, his court was a lot more formal than his father’s and observed a strict etiquette. I cannot see this King encouraging a raucous atmosphere or shouting to his courtiers about entertainment.

Secondly, Lady Mary was known for her extravagant dress. She went out of her way to have gorgeous gowns of many different colours, all of them adorned with jewels, she was very fond of dancing and was an excellent musician. She would not be sat there disapproving of the merriment. Catholics were fans of ostentatious dress, it was the Protestants who wore the sombre gowns, just like Catholic churches were alive with colour and the Protestant ones were plain. If anyone was to be wearing a dull dress, it would be Elizabeth, or more likely, Lady Jane Grey, who was a staunch advocate of that faith.

So there are a few problems, or rather questions, really, that I can see with this, but as I said before, you’ve got a decent style going on, and it does promise to be an interesting story.
wordsofjade chapter 11 . 1/8/2012
This cliffhanger was so wicked of you! lol But I'm going to forgive you and beg you to post the next chapter as soon as humanly possible so as to save me from a slow death... ;) Great job!
Zireael07 chapter 11 . 1/8/2012
I love the chapter. Brilliant!
Ouaysis chapter 1 . 12/16/2011
I like this so far. However, you seriously need to get a betareader. The grammatical errors and typos put an uncomfortable stick to the story and subtract from it's overall goodness. Both your narrative and dialogue are believable for this era of story. I can't wait to see what else is in store!


wordsofjade chapter 10 . 12/13/2011
I'm so torn! I love Edward...but this chapter about Paul made my heart sink...I hate it for Margaret! You are a wonderful writer, though. It sounds like I'm reading a true novel in my hands. Keep up the great work. Can't wait for the next chapter! :D
LoveAndMonsters chapter 1 . 12/11/2011
I'm a sucker for Tudor romance stories! And there are so few! This is great!
TheOther BoleynGirl1509 chapter 9 . 11/27/2011
Once again, you've written another great chapter! I was worried for a second that she would hate being with Edward and only think of Paul, but i really like that you're having her like both. I really can't wait to see how their relationship develops! Please update again soon"
Zireael07 chapter 9 . 11/22/2011
Love the story! It's getting better with each chapter...
opheliac chapter 8 . 10/31/2011
Oh I'm so happy you updated! I almost thought you weren't going to write anymore. Please do! And soon!
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