Sunday, February 14, 2016

Book Review: The King's Curse

Author: Philippa Gregory
Title: The King's Curse
Publisher: Touchstone
Publish Date: Sept 9, 2014
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: As an heir to the Plantagenets, Margaret is seen by the King’s mother, the Red Queen, as a rival to the Tudor claim to the throne. She is buried in marriage to a Tudor supporter—Sir Richard Pole, governor of Wales—and becomes guardian to Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon.

But Margaret’s destiny, as cousin to the White Princess, is not for a life in the shadows. Tragedy throws her into poverty, yet a royal death restores her to her place at young Henry VIII’s court where she becomes chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. There she watches the dominance of the Spanish queen over her husband and her tragic decline.

Amid the rapid deterioration of the Tudor court, Margaret must choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical Henry VIII or to her beloved queen. Caught between the old and the new, Margaret must find her own way, concealing her knowledge that an old curse cast upon all the Tudors is slowly coming true...

Review: I've read several of Philippa Gregory's books in the past. I'm a bit fonder of the Tudor series as opposed to the Cousin's War series. She changed her writing style and I don't find it for the better. This book feels like a huge overlapping of The Constant Princess, as a lot of the book revolves around Katherine of Aragon, though the story is told from the point of view of Margaret Pole, one of the last of the Plantagenet line.

The problem with the first person in The King's Curse, is how flat Margaret's character is. She's just very bland, and from all that happens to her and her children throughout her life and the life of her Queen and Princess Mary.

The one thing I do take away from this book is how much sympathy I have for Katherine of Aragon and her daughter and what an absolute pig, Henry VIII was. There is no way that you can like this man at all, even though Gregory gives us some new insight as to why Henry acted as he did, of course that doesn't excuse his horrid behavior.

It took me nearly a month to read this book, which is highly unusual for me. I just found Margaret's story to be very bland, when there was so much drama surrounding her and her family. Margaret was a lady in waiting to Queen Katherine and then as a guardian to Princess Mary.

I did find myself wondering "what if" many times throughout this book, because Katherine seemed such a good woman, that if Henry would have stayed married to her, rather than following his urges, how things would have turned out. Of course, there would have been no Elizabeth I as a result and that would really have changed English history.

But one thing you can take away from this book, is how much of a tyrant Henry was and how his paranoia changed his children.

This definitely wasn't her best, but I found that books that involve Katherine of Aragon are not her best, I found The Constant Princess to be a bit lacking too. It doesn't see to be a fitting end to the Cousins' War series

Rating: 3 flowers


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