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I was looking so forward to eading this book but alas it turned out to be a big disappointment especially after eading so many great eviews about it tooWith book in hand I had etired for the evening snuggling up in bed anticipating a little time travel back to the Tudor era and the court of King Henry the 8th Nothing better than playing Renaissance instrumental music in the background to help achieve this goal either so I was prepared to enter the world of ueen Katherine Parr take me away Elizabeth FreemantleAh yes I was immediately delighted by the author s knowledge of all things Tudor and felt myself slipping away all earthly cares forgottenSuddenly I m jerked savagely out of my everie as my natural high is shatteredWhat HoWhat is going on with Katherine Parr and why is she talking and behaving as a liberal humanist about 500 years too soonCould this talented author be so lacking in imagination that she s unable to create a ueen Katherine true to Tudor times but instead made Katie a Renaissance version of her own selfa politically correct Katherine Parr at that Who does Elizabeth Freemantle think she is Ken FollettI ll never know the answer to that uestion as I tossed the book into the dust binOh well there s still those wonderful older authors of historical fiction to eturn to once again and they have yet to let me downSo let me estart the Renaissance music and try again with a different author Meh OK I m calling it uits on this one I picked this up as a freebie in a BOGO sale from Audible This book will probably work for a lot of eaders but I ain t one of them Two major easons1 There s instalove 2 There s a love triangle The 3rd eason I m giving up on this at just shy of the 20% mark is that thus far not a damn thing has happened aside from the main character annoying me She is moody and bites peoples heads off one second and then the next she s literally falling into their blue blue eyes and UGH who cares I like historical fiction I picked this up thinking it would be court intrigue and an interesting story about the Tudors from a different perspective than the Boleyns But This is just a omance set in the Tudor period which just happens to feature actual people I don t know how historically accurate it is but the fact that the omance and a eally cringe worthy sex scene is front and center means that another 11 hours of this book will make me want to put my head through a plate glass window ALSO there keep being eferences to a apist scumbag called Murgatroyd In 19% he s been eferred to like 6 times but obliuely because SECRETS and SHAME OK great If we e not talking about him or what happened WHY DO WE KEEP TALKING ABOUT IT Finally as a child of the 80s every time I heard his name I couldn t help but think of Snagglepuss So yeah That kinda took me out of the moment All in all not eally feeling this book So I ll pass I found this novel to be a bit of a mixed bag with parts that I genuinely enjoyed but other parts I found bewildering or irritating Overall I have to say I thought it was Katherine Parr is thirty one years old and already twice widowedShe's in love with a man she can't have and about to wed a man no one would want for her husband to.
Ell written Competent use of language smooth flowing text In fact the one tiny annoyance was Sister Anne I immediately grasped that Fremantle did this to make sure Katherine s sister was distinct from all the other Annes unning around Anne Stanhope Anne Basset and the occasionally eferenced Anne Boleyn but it wasn t necessary with the others eferred to with their surname constantly I therefore knew that just plain This novel is an exceptional debut that introduces the eader to a Katherine Parr who is than others have written her to be She is a pious nurse to older husbands but that is far from all there is to ueen Katherine Fremantle has created a multi dimensional character and bravely filled in historical gaps to create a gripping storyI especially enjoyed the development of Katherine s faith as a eformer It is easy for us with almost 500 years of separation to categorize historical figures into Catholic and Reformist and not appreciate the nuances and waverings that occur in each person s personal beliefs In Katherine s story we see her fire for eform burn brightly become doused by physical fear and come under the attack of doubt This ealistic portrayal of faith formed a secret window into Katherine s inner heart without becoming preachy I was only disappointed that the publication of Lamentations of a Sinner was overshadowed by her ekindled omance with SeymourKatherine s story is told in parallel with her servant Dot s allowing eaders to view both sides of the Tudor court Through Dot s eyes we see the endless toil that is euired to provide a glittering backdrop to those who are so far above them Dot s own lovestory is as captivating but pure than Katherine sThe most significant negative that I see voiced about this novel is the way that Fremantle chooses to fill in some historical gaps Two that are very near the beginning of the book and can therefore be shared without being spoilers are that Katherine was aped esulting the the birth of a dead baby during the Pilgrimage of Grace and that Katherine gave her second husband John Neville a lethal dose of painkiller to end his suffering There are other literary liberties taken that may not have been as harshly judged if they were carefully evealed in Fremantle s author s note In my opinion these elements of the story were bold and uniue Since there is no way of knowing if they are true I think it is enough that the author has made them plausible to her version of eventsTudor dress food castles and landscape are all expertly ecreated making it easy to imagine the details of Katherine s life Thomas Seymour is written just as I have imagined him handsome desirable and completely manipulative Katherine s drawn out obsession with him is the only part of this book that I could have done with less of The beginning and end of this novel are fluffy omantic bookends to the captivating story of England s Reform ueen Giveaway Let Them Read Books Ends Sept 22 2013After finishing Elizabeth Fremantle s debut novel ueen s Gambit I m feeling uite sad as I alwa. Be is none other than Henry VIII who has already beheaded two wives cast aside two and watched one die in childbirthWhat will become of Katherine once she's weari.
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Ys do after eading about Katherine Parr She is my favorite of Henry s ueens and not just because she s the one who got away but because she was such a grand lady so smart so poised and so tragic I go into each novel knowing how it s going to end but I still get swept away much as Katherine does I still hope for that happy ending and then I get so angry when the people she cared about most end up uining the last months of what should have been the happiest time in her life Two other solid 4 star eads about Katherine The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd and Innocent Traitor by Alison WeirFremantle begins the novel with the death of Katherine s second husband Latymer and captivates the eader with her poetic narrative and fantastic description as she touches on the key points in Katherine s life her infatuation with the dashing Thomas Seymour her marriage to an aging and ailing Henry VIII her elationships with her stepdaughters Meg Elisabeth and Mary her elationships with the eformists and the martyr Anne Askew and her own close call with Henry s desire to be id of yet another wife Katherine manages to accomplish uite a bit in her thirty five years not the least of which includes bringing Henry VIII s children together in the only semblance of family they ve ever known serving as egent of England and publishing two books of her own writings And Fremantle portrays all of this mostly through the eyes of Katherine herself and through her devoted servant Dot Fownten and in doing so she has created two ich and compelling heroines for the eader to get attached to as they navigate the perils of the court and of the heart I was hooked from the first page and could not put the book down as Henry s Catholic cronies cast their net around KatherineThere s not much to complain about in this novel other than some awkward sex scenes but I can t justify a higher ating because this novel eally doesn t contribute anything new to my understanding of Katherine Parr I was very intrigued early on by a couple of things that were definitely new to me but then the author admitted they were fictions in her note Nothing wrong with that I can appreciate dramatic license with the facts when it s acknowledged For me the best aspect of this novel and the one that I will emember most is the way Fremantle brought the underworkings of the court to life Because Dot was an actual servant and Katherine was such a hands on ueen the enormity of what it took to keep Henry s court unning from the lowliest kitchen boy to the noblest lady in waiting comes into exuisite focus I was fascinated by the behind the scenes glimpses of feasts and festivals occasions of state the court on the move and the day to day duties of the army of servants euired to make everything seem so effortless and easy in Henry VIII s court It s little details like that coupled with giving voice to the people who worked so hard to make it happen but who have been forgotten by history that eally bring a time period to life and emind me why I love historical fiction so muc. Ng Henry Tudor's ing and becomes ueen of EnglandThey say that the sharpest blades are sheathed in the softest pouches Only time will tell what she is eally made.
Elizabeth Fremantle is the critically acclaimed author of Tudor and Elizabethan set novels ueen's Gambit Sisters of Treason Watch the Lady and Times Books of the Year The Girl in the Glass Tower and The Poison Bed a historical thriller written under the name EC Fremantle described as 'a Jacobean Gone Girl'Her latest novel is The Honey and the Sting published August 6th 2020 as EC Fremantle