Buy This Book
Other books by Kathryn Lasky
Other books you may enjoy
“Loneliness was like an impenetrable stone wall that grew up around a person, cutting them off from everything,” Rose. –The Burning Queen.
The Burning Queen
Tangled in Time #2
by Kathryn Lasky
In the second installment of Tangled in Time, newly orphaned Rose finds herself time-traveling between the present day and the court of the two most memorable English princesses in history. When Princess Mary ascends the throne in sixteenth-century England, Rose is forced to serve her. Mary’s coronation is coming and Rose is put to work making elaborate gowns. But the religiously devout queen’s next plan is to begin her attack on the Protestants—by burning them at the stake!
Rose’s dad, master spy, and goldsmith for the court, urges Rose to escape to her home century, present-day Indiana, where Rose befriends a young immigrant named Marisol. Rose must protect Marisol from both middle school mean girls and the threat of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Rose is determined to rescue her father and her best friend Franny from the dangers of Queen Mary’s reign. Is she willing to risk everything to save the people closest to her?
Readers who have not read the first Tangled in Time will not be able to understand the events in The Burning Queen. The story focuses on Rose and her friend Marisol, who is undocumented and an unaccompanied minor. Because of her immigration status, Marisol is frightened that ICE will take her to a detention center. Through Marisol’s situation, the pro-immigrant message is clear. This theme is reinforced when a doctor says, “many of us have been migrants at one time in our lives. It is not a crime.”
The story has many inconsistencies and questionable events. Even though the time travel is explained, the explanation is unbelievable. For example, when Rose returns to the past, she somehow knows everything that happened in her absence, and no one noticed that she was gone. Another questionable event is that Rose returns to the past in order to convince her father to travel to her time period; however, when she returns to the past, she hides from her father. In addition, Rose uses modern words and phrases and when people in the past question her, she “blamed every modern phrase she accidentally uttered on West Ditch, her supposed home village.”
Rose has a fashion blog that includes sixteenth-century fashion and modern fashion. Several of her blog posts are included; however, the pictures are of poor quality and do not reflect a modern teen’s blog. Rose uses words from her school vocabulary list, such as ecumenical and alacrity, but she never explains the words’ definitions.
The Burning Queen has many inconsistencies and holes in the plot that even younger readers will question. The complex, confusing plot, the questionable events, and the large cast of characters will make it difficult for readers to stay engaged. Readers may want to leave The Burning Queen on the shelf. For those interested in stories about time travel, the Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier would make a better choice.
- Some of the serving class are talking about Queen Mary being healthy enough to carry a child. Rose says, “I think she should bear a husband first. . . All I’m saying is it’s best to have a husband before having a child.”
- While walking through the castle, Rose sees “two shadows entwined behind a pillar. One shadow was speaking. ‘Oh, I just want to kiss you, my darling. Kiss you and kiss you and don’t make me cry, milady, don’t make me lie, milady.’” Rose thinks it’s curious that the shadows’ words are similar to a modern song, “I just want to make out with you. I want to make time with you. I want to be true to you and only you. . .”
- Rose has to climb underneath a dinner table to fix Queen Mary’s skirt. While under there, she recognizes a lady’s shoes. “Both her feet and those of the gentleman next to her were involved in an apparently lively conversation. What a hussy!”
- On Rose’s blog, she wrote that a duchess “got around.”
- Rose makes a comment that “Elizabeth would be the Virgin Queen.”
- When Rose goes back in time, she discovers that Queen Mary “was burning Protestants. . . Burning, hangings, what would be next? Boiling in oil? Oh, the sixteenth-century mind was so creative in devising ways to kill people.”
- As Rose learns about Queen Mary, she discovers that Lady Jane Grey was the queen for nine days, and in the end was imprisoned and beheaded.
- Although Rose doesn’t see anyone burned, she comments about the smell and writes in her diary. “The queen seems not to smell it, and as far as I can tell she looks no bigger. If I was that baby, I wouldn’t want to be born. Imagine having your first breath of air filled with the stink of these murders. Yuck! Of course some seem not to mind the stink. . .”
- Rose writes in her diary, “And I was told that often they tie bags of gunpowder between the victim’s knees to ensure that the person was not only burned but blown to bits.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- Rose’s grandmother was “sipping a glass of sherry—just one glass on these cold winter nights.”
- A mean girl purposely trips Marisol, who drops her lunch tray. When food gets on another girl’s sweater, someone calls Marisol “stupido.”
- Rose tells Marisol that the mean girls are “jerks.” Later someone else calls someone a jerk.
- Heck and damn are both used twice. Darn is used four times and dang is used three times.
- God is used as an exclamation three times. OMG is used as an exclamation eight times.
- Someone uses “good Lord” as an exclamation.
- Rose gets upset when a Frosty snowman kept singing a song. Rose thinks, “Go to hell, Frosty, and Melt!”
- A lady calls a court jester a “loathsome dwarf.”
- When Rose goes back in time, she uses the acronym TOD. When someone asks what it means, Rose says, “Turd of a dog.”
- Jeez is used as an exclamation several times.
- Rose gives her father a gift, and then thinks, “God, what have I done?”
- Rose tells a girl, “Put a plug in your pug mouth.”
- Someone calls Rose an idiot.
- Someone uses “Oh God’s toes” as an exclamation.
- Rose’s father is from the 1500s and lived during Bloody Mary’s reign. Rose can go back in time to her father’s time period. In order to go back in time, Rose concentrates on a flower. “Marisol watched, mesmerized, as a vaporous mist began to form around Rose and she slowly dissolved, leaving just a shadow behind. Then a whisper came from the mist, ‘I’ll be back in just a minute or two.’”
- The women in Rose’s family are able to travel back in time because “we have the gene.”
- When Rose goes back to the past, she remembers events that she did not witness. “It was a memory she had not forgotten in the least, yet she had not directly experienced it. Her shadow had. Her ghostly counterpart that seemed to carry on without her.”
- When Rose sees Princess Elizabeth wearing her locket, Rose prays, “Oh please, don’t let Princess Elizabeth figure out the secret to opening that locket!” Rose makes this prayer several times.
- When Marisol falls down in the snow, Rose prays that her grandmother’s driver will answer the phone.
- Queen Mary was a devout Catholic. Before her coronation, “there was talk of postponing the event. Holy oils that had been consecrated by the previous kings’ priests were used for coronations. But Mary was suspicious of the oil because those priests were Protestants and she was Catholic.”
- During the sixteenth century, “the pope’s power cannot be questioned. Nor can Queen Mary’s.” When this information is introduced, Rose worries that her friend will be burned alive because she has a Bible. Rose “was absolutely dizzy with fear, with shock. She shut her eyes tight and tried to banish the image of Franny being tied to a stake. The kindling bursting into flames. Then another image came into her mind—the smugglers, the ones they called coyotes, circling Marisol. And the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officers. . .”
- On Christmas Eve, “Marisol was on her knees again, whispering her prayers in Spanish.”
- Rose wants her Protestant friend to go to mass and pretend to be a devout Catholic. Her friend’s mother tells her, “Only God can see into your heart. He knows what your true faith is.” When Queen Mary is excited about having her baby, Rose thinks, “A baby whose mother had just given the order to set another human on fire for not believing as she did. No God in any religion on earth would want this. Of this Rose was certain.”
- Queen Mary dictates in a letter, “I’m sure you will rejoice and be pleased with God’s infinite goodness in the happy delivery of our son/daughter.”
- Rose writes in her diary. “I don’t think God is exactly Mary’s friend. If he is, I am profoundly disappointed in him. There have been ten more burnings!”