- Funny Moments:
- In the first chapter when Mary is fuming about being betrothed to King Francis, she rants about everything she hates. Including the colour green. Salisbury's fantastic response?"It seems today Madam dislikes nearly everything."
- There's also Susan's letter to Mary about Anne throwing things at her. Susan is unfazed by the event since she wasn't hurt, and felt sorry for "the poor objects" that were.
- In the first chapter when Mary is fuming about being betrothed to King Francis, she rants about everything she hates. Including the colour green. Salisbury's fantastic response?
- Genius Bonus: The treatment of Anne Boleyn reflects the common opinion among the people at the time - that she was a vamp who bewitched Henry and corrupted his mind. Mary both fears that she could be raped or poisoned by Anne's people - neither of which actually happen. Notably Carolyn Meyer would write an Anne POV book Doomed, Queen Anne.
- Harsher in Hindsight: Pretty much any scene where Mary and Elizabeth are together, and Mary shows a big sister instinct. The very next book Beware Princess Elizabeth details Mary's rise to the throne and persecution of Elizabeth. The very last bit has Mary shocked at the idea that she and her sister could ever become enemies.
- Older Than They Think: Here is a rare sympathetic portrayal of Mary Tudor before The Tudors came along.
- Paranoia Fuel:
- When Mary is called to act as a servant to Elizabeth, she lives in fear that Anne may order one of her guards to rape her - thus robbing her of her virginity and therefore legitimacy.
- She also worries that without people testing her food, it'll be all too easy for Anne to poison her.
- Stoic Woobie: Mary has learned from a young age to keep her emotions hidden, which she continues to do as her life falls apart.
- Tear Jerker:
- The news that Mary's friend Peter has died of the sweating sickness. It marks the start of her childhood ending. She lays a wreath of roses she cuts herself on his grave - and later hangs her hawk's jesses on it as she has to leave the house. She even lays a single rose on the grave of her dead tutor Master Vives - showing him kindness he never showed her.
- The news of Lady Susan's death too, as she is the last friend Mary had from her childhood.
- And nothing comes close to Mary getting a letter from her mother's deathbed. She has not heard from her mother in four years and has not even seen her in eight.
- The epilogue also notes that Salisbury was eventually executed for treason. Her death was especially horrifying as she was both too old to understand what was happening and the inexperienced executioner ended up hacking her to pieces.
- What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The book is marketed for preteens and young adults but the topic of rape is discussed and a graphic birth scene is described in great detail.
- The Woobie: Lady Susan, who is treated horribly by her parents, betrothed to a repulsive man she can't stand, forced away from her devoted friend and ultimately dies in childbirth.
YMMV / Mary Bloody Mary