The Queen’s Fool

Ally Sherrick (Chicken House)

The Queen's Fool

Review by Bansi
Star Rating: 4/5
This fantastic book written by Ally Sherrick is most certainly worth the rating given. It follows the story of a girl named Cat Sparrow and shows life, back when King Henry VIII ruled, through hers and Jacques Bonhomme's eyes. They are set out to find Cat’s sister, Meg. However, there are a lot of obstacles that would be hard to get through to get to her. They somehow even wind up with Queen Katherine herself.

This book has a lot of surprising plot twists and unexpected surprises that make you take a firmer grip of the book. You could read it for hours without even thinking of putting it down. My favourite part was when they met the queen and Cat turns into the Queen’s fool.

I especially recommend it for ages 10-15 years old but honestly, even adults can enjoy this book. This book also has an amazing backstory. The author found a girl court fool in a famous historical portrait and from that picture, she imagined her a whole backstory and this is how it ended up! You are missing out if you do not dive into the life of Cat Sparrow and Jacques Bonhomme. The book is worth every second from when you open the cover until you close it. I promise you; it will not let you down.

Review by Arden
Overall I thought it was a good book. It was packed full of twists, adventure, and, best of all, friendship. In this book there are two narratives, focusing on Cat and Jacques. Jacques was my favourite character throughout the book, as he was always such a good and supportive friend to Cat even when they have their arguments. Even though I found Cat quite an annoying character, she still forgave Jacques after he made very impactful mistakes. In my opinion, their bond made up this book. As to the historical side of this book, I think it really made no difference in how much someone could enjoy the book. So, if you are looking for a historical book there could be more historical books out there, but if you are just looking for a fun, interesting book this could be the one for you!

Review by Zahra
This book was set in the Tudor period and I’ve always found this period to be interesting because if you look back on the past you can see how much the world has changed because everything was different then, there clothing, the houses, how people thought and what they thought was right and wrong. Personally I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live in that time period and the book has definitely helped me picture that through the perspective of different people.

The character that I find the most interesting is Cat because she sees things differently to others due to never being out in the real world and I do think being an orphan has affected her. But I love that her being naïve actually helped her and this actually motivated her to find her sister and not let anything stop her. My least favourite character is Jacques because I think that he takes things a little too seriously and he does act a bit selfish at times when he thinks about leaving Cat behind.

From this book I learnt that in the Tudor period people were a bit cruel because they abused animals for entertainment and that the King (Henry VIII) and Queen were both very important figures and that everyone listened to them because they were afraid. I was inspired by Cat’s braveness because unlike the others she wasn’t scared to do what she wants or to say what she wants. She was also very determined to find her sister and maybe if it were me I would be too scared to actually go on a voyage like that. She also never did anything intentionally to hurt someone but she did the opposite she tried to make things right.

I also like how the book explores attitude with people who have learning disabilities the importance of family and the that you have the power to make your own destiny. I would definitely recommend this book to others who enjoy books with the genre of fictional adventure/historical as the book is set in a real time period with people that actually existed but make it more interesting by adding fictional characters who unravel many interesting things…

Review by Jessica
At first when starting off the book, I disliked it because of the way it was written in Cat’s perspective. Although, as I read on the plot was really enjoyable and I got used to the childish view.

Its set in a time when King Henry the VIII was married to Katherine of Aragon. He’s portrayed as a kind man who is easily angered yet in history he is known as a brutal tyrant who executes anyone who upsets/angers him. The book shows how wary the French and English are of each other after being in war for so long, as well as the hatred of the French from many English lords, servants and people in general. Unlike a lot of other books, the backstory between the French and English was given so you could have a clear understanding of the conflict. It inspires me to learn more about England in the 1400s beyond Henry VIII and his wives.

I would have to say that Isabelle Boncoeur is the most interesting as well as my favourite character. She tricks us in the first half of the book into thinking she was Jaques which was a smart move on her part as she wouldn’t have gotten as far as she did in her search for her father’s murderer. The reveal was shocking and unexpected but it gave a lot of insight to her character and her reaction to certain events in the book.

My least favourite character was Mistress Bristles. She was almost always angry or annoyed at Cat. I think that she may have been jealous of how the queen favoured Cat in just a short time of knowing her. She isn’t shown to have any good qualities especially with her whipping stick or of how cruelly she treated Cat and Pepin.

I found the plot to be interesting with a lot of surprising plot-twists. New things happened every so often so it wouldn’t get boring but it was just the right amount. There was a good balance between serious parts and light-hearted/funny parts. These all made the book better and without them I feel that the book would be uninteresting. It definitely changed from the slightly dull start to a plot-filled story that I would read again.

I recommend this book to someone who enjoys the period of Henry VIII as well as first person perspectives. It’s an interesting book but has a slow start so you really have to commit to it. But, overall, it was very enjoyable to read especially with the extra facts Ally Sherrick included at the end.

Review by Vidya
I really liked the Queen’s Fool. I found Pipin the most interesting because I thought he made the book a lot more interesting and fun to read. Another reason why I found him the most interesting is because it was like he knew how the characters were feeling and was always doing something funny.

There were some times in the book where I found Cat Sparrow to be a little annoying like when her sister Meg was taken from the orphanage at the beginning of the book she wanted to chase after her and go with her but she just didn’t listen when the nuns (nonnies) told her she was gone. Otherwise I really liked every character.

I learnt a couple of things about the past. I had learnt about the types of clothing that people used to wear in those times and how people used to travel. I found it interesting because in that time period that the author set the book in, there were some parts where I thought I was talking to the characters.

The plot was sometimes exciting and sometimes there was a lot of tension but otherwise the book did not have not many different kinds of plots and twists.

I thought some of the characters stood out to me like queen Catherine and King Henry VIII.

I didn’t learn many new words but I learnt a few new facts that I didn’t know before about the time this book was set in. One thing I didn’t know was that if you lived a castle you had a mistress.

I read the book twice because the first time I read this book I did not understand it and like it but when I re-read it I understood it and liked it. I didn’t like the way it was written, because it was like Cat talking to her sister in a conversation and how she missed her and how she was going to find her.

However, I would definitely recommend this book to other pupils! Overall I did like the book very much.

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