I have read a few fictional portrayals of Catherine Howard and most present her as a one-dimensional bubble head who only cares about dancing, masques, and whatever shiny bauble the king’s throws at her feet. In Libby’s portrayal, we meet a more human Catherine torn between her desire to please her family and her desire to follow her heart. This Catherine is no Paris Hilton stuck in the 16th century. In The King’s Rose, Catherine is smart enough to understand her responsibility as queen, but also painfully aware that she is in over her head. Catherine thinks, “I am not a magician. I am not a witch. I can make the king feel young again, but I cannot actually make him young.” Here lies her dilemma. Catherine is constantly being reminded of her responsibility to produce an heir and she feels time running out as Henry experiences one health problem after another. Will her desperate situation force her to take drastic measures?
If you’re a Tudor junkie, you might already know about the love triangle Catherine finds herself in when one of Henry’s courtiers catches her eye. And if you are just getting into Tudor history….well, I don’t want to give too much away. Libby does occasionally veer slightly from the real history for a smoother plot flow, but an author note at the back clarifies which parts were based on conjecture. Get this book for your teenage Tudor lover or better yet….treat yourself to a little Tudor intrigue and romance.
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