Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Bookworm's Report (#2)

Book Review for...

Secrets of the Tudor Court: The Pleasure Palace

Kate Emerson

Summary: Eight-year-old Jane Popyncourt travels with her mother from France to the English court of Henry VII. She is raised with the royal children, teaching them French. When her mother dies unexpectedly, Jane is left with no money, but becomes a favorite of Princess Mary, whom she serves. Learning since childhood the treacherous ways of court life and the temperamental nature of the Tudors, she strives to please those around her until a French prisoner captures her attention. The Duc de Longueville, a handsome married man, stirs Jane. She starts an affair with him to the dismay of her friends and the delight of the new king, Henry VIII. He uses Jane as a spy, a mission that causes friction, but a role that also may help her solve the mystery of her mother’s death. Emerson creates a riveting historical novel of the perils of the Tudor Court, vividly fictionalizing historical characters and breathing new life into their personalities and predicaments. 

I love Tudor England and have read dozens of books, both fiction and non-fiction, around this time era. I enjoyed this book for the different view it gave me into the world of the Tudors. The title seemed rather misleading and, I think, silly for what the story is really about.

Jane was a bit difficult to figure out. The book was through Jane's eyes and through this we were able to glance into the world of the early Tudor court and the politics surrounding this royal family. However, I would have liked to know mre about Jane. The book spent so much time observing the other characters that it didn't shine very much light into Jane's feelings or personal life. Which left her feeling hollow and paper doll-ish.

There was just the righ dash of scandal and intrigue to keep you from wanting to put the book down. When reading historial fiction, I have become used to the stretch authors take to keep the story entertaining but I feel that Kate Emerson might have stretched too thin to come up with her neat and tidy ending, with events that made me want to roll my eyes!

Again, I love Tudor England so I read this through and enjoyed myself. Emerson adds great details to capture your attention which makes it easy to just fall into the story and never want to leave. A very enjoyable book!

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