In My Lady's Chamber
A Tale Retold
by Pamela Sherwood & Isobel Clary
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 19 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 21 Nov 2021
ARC provided by Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op, Blue Castle Publishing
Alyne has served the royal family all her life, especially young Princess Helen. So what could be more natural than accompanying her now-betrothed mistress to her new home? But a funny thing happens on the way to the wedding…
Which tale is told?
A princess en route to an arranged marriage. A servant who takes her place. A lively, spirited horse. A king awaiting his bride. A goose girl with secrets.
Which tale is true?
Everyone thinks they know what happened. But sometimes the puzzle pieces can take a different shape, form a different picture… tell a different story.
Inspired by “The Goose-Girl,” In My Lady’s Chamber is the second entry in the Tales Retold series. There’s more than one road to Happy Ever After…
Average rating from 4 members
Pamela Sherwood and Isobel Clary have written such a triumph in In My Lady's Chamber: A Tale Retold. In it, they reimagine the fairy tale of the Goose Girl, stripping away the fantastical talking animals and spells and enchantments, to create a story that rests on real magic -- friendship, loyalty, honor, and love. In their retelling, Princess Helen is betrothed to a king of a far-away land whom she has never met. She travels to marry him in his kingdom, accompanied by her best friend, Alyne, who is also her secret half-sister. Raised within the castle by the kind queen who knew her parentage was no fault of her own, Alyne knows her place but also knows the etiquette, customs, and responsibilities of Court. On the way to meet her fiance, Princess Helen loses her courage and begs Alyne to take her place. Alyne refuses, and in the morning, Helen is gone, along with Alyne's common clothing and horse. Alyne must make all the decisions, balance all the pressures, and hold the situation together while the guards search for Helen without allowing the fiance king to know. While she plays the role of Helen, Alyne finds herself falling in love with the king, and her traitor heart knows her feelings are wrong. If only she could find Helen, set the royal marriage rolling, and flee to mend her hurting heart! In this tale, Alyne's voice is clear and strong and authentic. She so clearly is strong and smart, brave and kind, honorable and human. Helen, too, is real and credible, living her princess life without any desire to hurt others but also without knowing whether she is hurting them. And perhaps most enchanting of all is the King Sherwood and Clary have given us: kind, strong, humble, grand, powerful, gentle, and handsome. The plot is quick and smart, giving readers enough information without stagnating on any points. My only criticism is actually the highest praise: I wish it were longer! I want to live in Alyne's world a bit longer to see more of her strength and integrity. In My Lady's Chamber is a rare book that enthralls readers with its pace and plot while also celebrating the virtues of honesty and honor. Alyne is a paragon of integrity, battling her own soft heart to remain true to her duty and to her friend and sister. Helen is a bit selfish, but honest and courageous; she protects her own interests first, but she takes the consequences of her actions on her own shoulders. The midwife, the aging queen, and the fiance king all show compassion and goodness to the people around them, regardless of status, birth, or wealth. I love the idea of reading this story as a companion volume with Karen Cushman's The Midwife's Apprentice or Catherine, Called Birdy for a unit on medieval class and society. Readers from middle grade through young adult will race through this well-crafted story. I appreciate the authors' efforts to breathe new life into a fairy tale, and, in doing so, give readers role models and an important moral. While talking animals and spells are not a part of life, magic is, in the form of friendship and love.
An imaginative and charming twist on the beloved tale of The Goose Girl. Although I would have enjoyed the story to be a bit longer to allow for optimal character development, I do think it was a sweet romance and had enough tension to keep me intrigued. I would recommend the book to anyone interested in a short yet adventurous read.