Title: The Taming of the Queen
Author: Philippa Gregory
Series: The Tudor Court
Previous Books in the Series:
1. The Constant Princess
2. The Other Boleyn Girl
3. The Boleyn Inheritance
5. The Queen’s Fool
6. The Virgin’s Lover
7. The Other Queen
Date Started: December 14
Date Finished: December 22
Format: ebook from the digital library
I have to admit that after the last two of Gregory’s novels, I wasn’t too keen in reading this one. Did I really want to waste my time considering that I skimmed the last two to completion when I only have so many days to read so many books to complete my challenge for the year? But I remembered that with The Tudor Court series, Gregory had yet to let me down and besides she was writing about the wife that I was most curious about – Kathryn Parr, Henry’s sixth and final wife.
Granted, I got a good look at Kathryn when I was reading the Secrets of the Tudor Court series over the summer, but compared to Gregory? These books had nothing on this one. The way she tells Kathryn’s story is spot on. She’s already a widow twice over and she knows about Henry’s deceitful ways because her sister has been a lady in all the previous queen’s households. So when the king proposes to her, she is half tempted to say no, but at that point in Henry’s reign it isn’t smart to rile his temper. She says yes even though she has many reservations and is in lust with another – Thomas Seymour. They have to put their love aside so that way the new queen doesn’t fall like her predecessor did. But as always in the Tudor court there is a lot plotting afoot, even plotting to get rid of the sixth queen and put a seventh on the throne.
Kathryn’s story is quite remarkable. She’s a woman who likes to think for her self about multiple things – including religion. A lot of pressure is put on her head to whisper in the king’s ear to get the nation back with Rome, but at the same time she has to ease the king’s temper about things he can’t control like the fact that he is dying. While she’s managing that she also publishes under her own name and brings all the children – Mary, Queen Katherine’s daughter, Elizabeth, Queen Anne’s daughter, and Edward, Queen Jane’s son – to court at the same time and makes Henry acknowledge them. It’s quite a feat.
As always it’s interesting and disgusting to watch King Henry’s rule in those later years. He becomes quite tyrannical – in public and in private. When Kathryn has to deal with the warrant for her arrest and apologize to the king to avoid the block I was quite disturbed.
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Note to self, stick with historical fiction in small doses and not do eight or nine novels in a row. Maybe that was why I didn’t care for The King’s Curse? Anyway, a brilliant novel that was full of political intrigue and interesting matters of the heart.
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