Monday, April 3, 2017

Review: Maid of the King's Court by Lucy Worsley

Publication Date: March 14th 2017
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction 
Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ B&N

Synopsis: In the vibrant, volatile court of Henry VIII, can even the most willful young woman direct her own fate and follow her heart in a world ruled by powerful men?

Clever, headstrong Elizabeth Rose Camperdowne knows her duty. As the sole heiress to an old but impoverished noble family, Eliza must marry a man of wealth and title — it’s the only fate for a girl of her standing. But when a surprising turn of events lands her in the royal court as a maid of honor to Anne of Cleves, Eliza is drawn into the dizzying, dangerous orbit of Henry the Eighth and struggles to distinguish friend from foe. Is her glamorous flirt of a cousin, Katherine Howard, an ally in this deceptive place, or is she Eliza’s worst enemy? And then there’s Ned Barsby, the king’s handsome page, who is entirely unsuitable for Eliza but impossible to ignore. British historian Lucy Worsley provides a vivid, romantic glimpse of the treachery, tragedy, and thrills of life in the Tudor court.

My Rating
4/5 stars

My Review
Maid of the King's Court is a very well written book.

It is the story of Elizabeth Rose Camperdowne (fictional character) during the time of King Henry the VIII. While this is a fictional story, many of the events happened in real life and the author, who is a historian, did an amazing job mixing fantasy with history.

As a child who grew up in Europe, I've heard stories about the mad king who could not bear children and beheaded his wives (don't ask me why they tell children this story). What I didn't know, was the story of the wives that he had.

We live in such an empowering world right now for women, it is easy to forget that before women were treated like little dolls, that were only worth something if they were nice to look at. What the author did in this book was show us the intelligent and cunning side to King Henry the VIII's fifth wife Catherine (Katherine in the book) Howard. Katherine found out that the King is incapable of having any more children, and uses a man with the same genetic background as the King in order to fool him into believing the child is his. Unfortunately Katherine is caught before a chid could be born. I really loved that while playing dumb and slutty, Katherine had an intelligent side to her that she would hide, if she was born during a different time period, she could have been very brilliant.

While this book had an amazing plot and lots of historical details that made the story interesting, I found the beginning of the book to be quite boring. It doesn't pick up until about 40% into the book, which is when Eliza finally reaches the castle of King Henry the VIII, but after she arrives the book is absolutely fantastic, and I could not put it down.

Overall, if you love history and aren't afraid of a slow beginning, definitely give this book a try. It is an informational and fast read, I'm sure you will love it.

Happy Reading,

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