Author: Katherine Longshore
Companion to: Tarnish
Date Started: February 21
Date Finished: February 23
Format: Hardcover from local library
Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?
As a constant reader of historical fiction, especially that of the Tudor era, I’ve seen the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn done in a few different ways by now. I think what I loved the most about this book was how the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn was paralleled with Mary Howard falling in love with Henry Fitzroy. In my constant search for anything to do with the witch queen, I’ve come across Henry Fitzroy – the bastard son that Henry VIII had before Catherine’s fall – but I never really cared to hear his story. Until now. And I did love it. Both Fitzroy and Mary are so naive in some things like love and romance, while knowledgable about others and it’s hard not to be in King Henry and Queen Anne’s court.
I was also intrigued by Mary’s character on her own. She’s struggling to find her way with her marriage to Fitz. Was it only a contract or is it possible that there might be something more? She’s struggling to find her way with her friends who seem to be about their own political gain instead of doing the right thing. And it’s interesting to watch her struggle as she continues to try and do the right thing even when Anne Boleyn begins to fall. It was also great watching her as she tried to overcome not only her mother – who is violent and slightly damaged – but her father as well. I’m very thankful that I am not a woman growing up in the 1500s in England. I would have lost my head.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Even though I knew the ending to Anne’s story, I was intrigued with the end of Mary’s. She loses Fitz – which bummed me out – but she starts to get out from under her father and mother’s shadow to find her freedom. I would have been intrigued to see where her story took her.
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