Legacy - Susan Kay This book is the reason why I buy almost all of my books rather than borrowing from friends or the library.

I first read this book when I was in middle school. I borrowed it from the library, lost myself in the dangerous and glittering world of court intrigue and politics, and read it in a little over two sittings. It also happened to be that this was one of the last books I read before we moved to a different state. In that hectic time, I returned the book to the library almost as soon as I finished it, and promptly forgot the title and author name! But the story stayed with me for years, and for almost a decade I tried to find the book again by just what I remembered about the book--it was a very detailed and introspective book on Queen Elizabeth, one of history's greatest monarchs. It was superbly researched and endlessly captivating, all the while exceedingly personal at the same time. But alas, those are poor metrics with which to search for one diamond of a book amongst the rough of Amazon's and Google's bazillion, sometimes crappy search results. There are only so many Tudor-era books one can sift through in one sitting, and I gave up after some halfhearted searches that followed.

But now, I FOUND IT . AH. To say I was excited is an understatement--I was nearly bouncing in my chair with giddiness. And I found it on GoodReads! As soon as I clicked on the semi-familiar author name, I knew in that the-universe-has-just-worked kind of way that this was what I was looking for.

This book made history come alive for me. Cliche as it might sound, it's true. The clothes and food, the culture, the politics were all so richly detailed yet not so very heavy to read. The daily rituals of the era that were so everyday then invoked both wonder and a lingering sense of familiarity in me.

Most importantly, I got to know Elizabeth.

The woman is an authentic BAMF. Her charisma, charm, and ruthless political acumen should set her above any normal human being, but at the same time, she's so very, very human. She lies, cheats, flatters, loves, and throws tantrums. She has flaws, like the rest of us, but she's still so endlessly fascinating.

In my mind, this is THE standard to meet for any novel aspiring to be the next Great Novel of Elizabeth I. But until then, Ms. Susan Kay, you sit on that throne.

Now that I've accomplished one of the many things on my List of Things to Do Before I Die, this book is most definitely due for a reread.