The Tower

The Tower

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Hardback Published on: 07/03/2024
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Tower
Atmospheric, imaginative and symbolic retelling
A welcome addition to Marian literature, The Tower explores what Mary and indeed her women may have thought, dreamed, felt in the longs days at Loch Leven.... READ MORE
The Tower
A close look at historic women’s lives
This novel takes the year or so that Mary Queen of Scots and three of her companions spent imprisoned in Lochleven castle and uses it as a focus point to e... READ MORE
Jack at Glasgow Argyle Street
The Tower
Loved this!
I loved this imaginative retelling of the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots. I'm not always a huge fan of historical fiction, but this gripped me imm... READ MORE
Helen at Scarborough
The Tower
A fantastic historical debut
The Tower was a deeply humanising portrait of Mary Queen of Scots. Charismatic, beautiful and eager to be adored, a pregnant Mary is imprisoned at Lochleve... READ MORE
Yasmeen Abbasi
The Tower
Intimate and compelling historical fiction
Flora Carr's The Tower is an intense feminist retelling of the period Mary Queen of Scot's spent as a prisoner in Lochleven after the death of Darnley and ... READ MORE
Sally Hughes
The Tower
Historic retelling with modern sympathies
Many thanks to Cornerstone for the review copy! This was a dazzlingly and atmospheric retelling of Mary Queen of Scots' time spent imprisoned at Lochlev... READ MORE


They are imprisoned, but not contained. Three women cross a loch. It is 1567, one of them is pregnant, two of them fretful. The boat takes them to Lochleven castle in the middle of the water. Awaiting them are courtiers braying for blood, hellbent on keeping one of them under lock and key: Mary Queen of Scots. In the tower, Mary's maids Frenchwoman, Cuckoo and watchful Scot, Jane are her only allies, and the chamber their entire world. A new reality sets in where they are at the mercy of not only their keepers, but of raging Scotland itself. In the outside world, Mary's kin, Queen Elizabeth claims she can do little but write. Downstairs, the shrewd jailor-courtier Margaret Erskine places her daughter-in-law Agnes in the chamber as her pair of eyes. Hope seems futile until the bewitching Lady Seton arrives. Seton's power shifts everything in the tower and soon a plan is hatched. But which of them will risk it all to save their mistress? Which woman loves her queen best? The Tower is a triumphant story of desire, grit, God-given power and wiles from a striking new voice in historical fiction.

  • Publisher: Cornerstone
  • ISBN: 9781529153729
  • Number of pages: 272
  • Weight: 480g
  • Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 27 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Tower
An excellent, feminist retelling of Mary Queen of Scots' imprisonment
It is 1567 and a pregnant Mary Queen of Scots is imprisoned in a tower in Loch Leven Castle with just two serving women, Jane and Cuckoo. In a little whil... READ MORE
The Tower
This book is fantastic
I devoured this book in one sitting - the rawness and modern take on Mary's time at Loch Leven castle was an amazing read. Reminded me of work by Hilary Ma... READ MORE
Eleanor Smith
The Tower
A vivid retelling of a well known story
The story of Mary Queen of Scots is a familiar one to most of us, a Scottish woman executed by her cousin to protect her English throne. The sheer number o... READ MORE
The Tower
A very dark and harsh reimagining of Mary Queen of Scots year imprisoned in Lochleven Castle
A very dark and harsh reimagining of Mary Queen of Scots year as a prisoner at Lochleven Castle. The descriptions of this horrendous year and Mary's miscar... READ MORE
Dana Farren
The Tower
Great read
Got to love a cracking historical fiction novel! This is a great read, about Mary Queen of Scots, and the time she spends with two chambermaids locked a... READ MORE
Lucy Williams
The Tower
Not a romantic approach
Defeated in battle, Mary the Queen is taken first to Edinburgh and then to remote Lochleven castle, situated on an island. She is not allowed to have any ... READ MORE
Jo-anne Atkinson
The Tower
Mary Queen of Scots incarceration
I love history and I love the Tudor period so I was drawn to this book. Mary Queen of Scots is incinerated in a cold, damp Lochlevan castle situated on a ... READ MORE
The Tower
Finely written though a heavily feminist take on events
This is a glorious book to read on many levels and irksome on one. A story about Mary Queen of Scots will always draw me in, especially if it has a beautif... READ MORE
The Tower
Interesting story
Another story about Mary Queen of Scotland. It was an interesting story illustrating Marys' imprisonment in Scotland after leaving France. Described her ma... READ MORE
Patricia Moren
The Tower
Good Debut
Thank you to the publishers for this review copy. This is a very dark and atmospheric historical read. Tense, emotional and you absolutely feel like you ... READ MORE
Fiona Sharp