by Elizabeth Fremantle
Just released: August 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hardback: 432 pages
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Widowed for the second time at age thirty-one Katherine Parr falls deeply for the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour and hopes at last to marry for love. However, obliged to return to court, she attracts the attentions of the ailing, egotistical, and dangerously powerful Henry VIII, who dispatches his love rival, Seymour, to the Continent. No one is in a position to refuse a royal proposal so, haunted by the fates of his previous wives—two executions, two annulments, one death in childbirth—Katherine must wed Henry and become his sixth queen.
Katherine has to employ all her instincts to navigate the treachery of the court, drawing a tight circle of women around her, including her stepdaughter, Meg, traumatized by events from their past that are shrouded in secrecy, and their loyal servant Dot, who knows and sees more than she understands. With the Catholic faction on the rise once more, reformers being burned for heresy, and those close to the king vying for position, Katherine’s survival seems unlikely. Yet as she treads the razor’s edge of court intrigue, she never quite gives up on love.
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In-a-word(s): shards of her heart in his pocket -chapter 4, page 121
Enjoyable read despite a depiction of King Henry viii in an unglamorous mode during his marriage with his sixth and final wife who is one of those calm, cool and collected types.
I liked reading the perspective of the loyal servant, Dot. Her character gives a more complete view of the times and people.
After reading this book, I got the urge to continue watching The Tudors tv series which I had abandoned a couple years ago. With such an introduction and tale about Queen Katherine, I am curious to see how she was presented in the show.
* review copy courtesy and giveaway courtesy of Queen's Gambit tour - check out the other stops for more details on this book and goodies sponsored by Historical Virtual Book Tours