by Kate Emerson
Release Date: Aug 7, 2012
Source: sent by publisher
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
In the fifth novel in Kate Emerson's highly acclaimed Secrets of the Tudor Court series, a young gentlewoman catches King Henry the Eighth's roving eye.In 1533 and again in 1534, Henry the Eighth reportedly kept a mistress while he was married to Anne Boleyn. Now, that mistress comes to vivid life in Kate Emerson's The King's Damsel.
A real-life letter from Spanish Ambassador Eustace Chapuys, written on September 27, 1534, reported that the king had "renewed and increased the love he formerly bore to another very handsome young lady of the Court" and that the queen had tried "to dismiss the damsel from her service." Other letters from Eustace reveal that the mystery woman was a "true friend" of the Princess (later Queen) Mary, Henry's daughter by Catherine of Aragon. Though no one knows who "the king's damsel" really was, here Kate Emerson presents her as young gentlewoman Thomasine Lodge, a lady-in-waiting to King Henry's daughter, Princess Mary. Thomasine becomes the Princess's confidante, especially as Henry's marriage to Catherine dissolves and tensions run high. When the king procures a divorce in order to marry Anne Boleyn, who is suspicious and distrustful of Mary, Mary has Thomasine placed in Anne's service to be her eyes and ears. And that's when she gets the attention of the king...
Rich in historical detail and featuring a wealth of bonus material, The King's Damsel is sure to keep readers coming back for more in the exciting series!
There were aspects that I really liked about this historical fiction book, but then there were aspects that weren't so great too. Overall, it was a nice book, but didn't really stand out from the crowd for me.
One thing that I really liked about the book was that it was realistic historically, but it didn't push the shock factor like most historical fiction does. I liked that it did talk about the less pleasant aspects of life in the 1500's but it was never coarse or over the top with the ick factor. For me, this made the book a lighter read than most historical fiction, but I think it will still appeal to fans of the genre because of the great historical detail throughout.
However, sometimes the book moved really slowly. At times, the lead character seemed like more of an observer or a narrator rather than the main character. She seemed to just react to the events around her. Perhaps this had to do with the first person narrative.
Seeing the Tudor court through Henry's daughter, Mary, was something new that I hadn't seen done before. I thought this was very creative and interesting. Again, it was refreshing to see a more innocent view of the court without the constant onslaught of gritty realism.
Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Bottom Line: A different look at Tudor court, and a quick, painless read.