Rating:

Reviewed by Claudia R.

” In all parts of the realm it would be the same: a thousand, a million dreams and secret episodes enacted in the lives of its people: love, hatred, friendship, anger and jealousies – even the cover of darkness cannot halt the progress of life and all the diverse rights of passage, the innumerable births, deaths and rebirths. Nothing is still; everything is in a state of change. ” – Elizabeth, Virgin and the Crab, Robert Parry

I am a history freak, especially anything pertaining to the Tudors and the volatile era of throne versus religion. Virgin and the Crab delivers an exquisitely fictional, but utterly believable journey of the period, including all the beloved (and not so much) characters of the Elizabethan era. King Edward, Queen Mary, Jane Grey, John Dudley, are perfectly entwined with new, fictional faces, all immersed in devious and delicious plots and plans for the England’s future. Parry blurs the line so well the reader will finish wondering what was real and what was fiction.

Centered around the tumultuous and ever shifting relationship of philosopher and astronomer, (and SPY!) John Dee (Zodiac Sign: Cancer) and Elizabeth (Zodiac Sign: Virgo, hence, Virgin), Virgin and the Crab unfolds with meticulous detail, parring fact and fiction seamlessly, and thoroughly. Virgin and the Crab begins with the death of Henry the VII and ends with the accession to the throne of his daughter, Elizabeth. Meaty, full of twists, turns, plotting, devious schemes, love, secret messages sent via flowers, astrology charts, and magic, Virgin and the Crab captures and holds the imagination long after the book is finished.

Written (almost) like a play, complete with a list of characters (it gets complex!) in the beginning, the reader is transported through time as if witnessing a theatrical masterpiece (which it is!).

Lush, vivid, filled with longing, humor, deception and an uncanny attention to detail for each and every scenario, Virgin and the Crab delivers historical fiction lovers a wallop of a tale. Well written, fast paced, intricate, it’s a must read for any Tudor/Elizabethan fans.

Claudia lives on Cape Cod with her husband and two children. She entertains her passion for reading in between being a full-time Mom, aspiring writer, avid photographer & volunteer for Missie’s Closet, an emergency food & necessities pantry for the low-income in her area.

This book was provided free of any obligation by Robert Parry. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.