The Queen's Dwarf
By Ella March Chase
(Thomas Dunne Books, Hardcover, 9781250006295, 372pp.)
Publication Date: January 21, 2014
List Price: $26.99*
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A richly imagined, gorgeously written historical novel set in the Stuart court featuring a unique hero: Jeffrey Hudson, a dwarf tasked with spying on the beautiful but vulnerable queen
It's 1629, and King Charles I and his French queen Henrietta Maria have reigned in England for less than three years. Young dwarf Jeffrey Hudson is swept away from a village shambles and plunged into the Stuart court when his father sells him to the most hated man in England--the Duke of Buckingham. Buckingham trains Jeffrey to be his spy in the household of Charles' seventeen-year-old bride, hoping to gain intelligence that will help him undermine the vivacious queen's influence with the king.
Desperately homesick in a country that hates her for her nationality and Catholic faith, Henrietta Maria surrounds herself with her "Royal Menagerie of Freaks and Curiosities of Nature"--a "collection" consisting of a giant, two other dwarves, a rope dancer, an acrobat/animal trainer and now Jeffrey, who is dubbed "Lord Minimus."
Dropped into this family of misfits, Jeffrey must negotiate a labyrinth of court intrigue and his own increasingly divided loyalties. For not even the plotting of the Duke nor the dangers of a tumultuous kingdom can order the heart of a man. Though he is only eighteen inches tall, Jeffrey Hudson's love will reach far beyond his grasp--to the queen he has been sent to destroy.
Full of vibrant period detail, "The Queen's Dwarf "by Ella March Chase is a thrilling and evocative portrait of an intriguing era.
Praise for The Queen’s Dwarf:
“Entertaining… a fascinating glimpse into 17th-century court life, rife with ladies in waiting who could be confidants or backstabbers; lush, wasteful banquets; and people like Jeffrey who are treated kindly but were essentially pets for royalty.” –Publishers Weekly
“Rich in detail and brimming with intriguing characters, Chase’s novel will please fans of historical fiction.” --Kirkus
“A tour de force on many levels… Jeffrey became a living, breathing person to me. As the story is told in the first person, we become privy to Jeffrey’s darkest inner monologues, his deepest wishes, his personal struggles. To his peers and the King and Queen, Jeffrey’s physical size says nothing of his great humanity, his courage and his ability to love… A marvelous, engrossing and highly recommended read.” –Historical Novel Society
“There’s an animating intelligence to the whole thing that feels at times almost magisterial. This is by a wide margin Ella March Chase’s best novel.” –Open Letters Monthly
"The Queen’s Dwarf is a feast for readers told by a masterful author. Ella March Chase beautifully renders myriad facets of life in seventeenth century England: the sumptuous and the gritty, the magical and the terrifying. The seemingly fantastical—yet historically accurate—collection of characters will tug at your heart." –Tahsha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of Behind the Shattered Glass
"Enthralling, unexpected, and mysterious, this vivid novel set in the rarely explored world of acrobats, mages, giants and dwarves who populated Queen Henrietta-Maria's court offers a fascinating tale of an unlikely hero and his companions' hunt for a royal assassin, even as an infamous love affair threatens to overturn the kingdom. The Queen’s Dwarf proves that Ms. March-Chase has a very bright future in historical fiction!" - C.W. Gortner, author of The Tudor Conspiracy
“The Queen’s Dwarf is a beautiful tapestry, authentic history carefully woven together with a curiously engaging story. I love the in-depth look at a rarely written about queen, and the perfect blend of beautiful language and action that compels turning of page after page. Clever bits of irony threaded throughout and a cast of fresh characters, low and nobly born, make this a delightful pleasure read.” --Sandra Byrd, bestselling author of Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I
“Masterfully written, The Queen’s Dwarf is hard to put down. This engrossing, atmospheric novel paints a vivid portrait of the early days of the reign of Charles the First, bringing a little-known period of English history to glorious life.” --Kate Emerson, author of Royal Inheritance
“A tour de force. To take such an unlikely hero, to surround him with a cast of freaks and yet to create with them a story of intrigue, derring-do, humanity and romance is indeed an achievement for writer Ella March Chase.” --Rhys Bowen, author of The Family Way
"This book is a banquet--Sumptuous and delicious; I devoured every word, and still wanted more. Its pint-sized hero leapt straight into my heart." --Brandy Purdy, author of The Queen’s Pleasure
“I loved this book; with its new look at English history told by a fresh viewpoint. Chase did a wonderful job of creating heartfelt characters, weaving actual historical figures with imaginary, all to make a novel that will have fans of historical fiction eagerly turning each page. I will be picking up this author’s books with anticipation from this point on.” –NightOwlReviews.com
"Combines the fascination of a Grimm’s fairy tale with the heft of history… Penning a tale of royal intrigue from the perspective of a court fool offers a unique glimpse into the queen’s inner circle… It is these unusual characters, these ‘curiosities,’ who breathe life into a tale of Stuart England." –CurledUp.com
“[Chase’s] descriptions are vivid, sumptuous and well-detailed, and her characters are fully realized and easy to love and hate. The Queen's Dwarf is a wonderful historical novel in the vein of Margaret George and Philippa Gregory, and Ella March Chase is a gifted storyteller.” –ReaderToReader.com