8 August 2015

Prisoner of the Queen - Review

Prisoner of the Queen - Tales from the Tudor Court #2
by E. Knight

What they say: Kindhearted Katherine Grey knows well the peril of being born with royal blood. As Henry VIII’s grandniece and one of the heirs to the English throne, her noble birth has doomed her to live among the schemers and seducers of the king’s court—barring her from the peaceful life that she truly desires.

After her sister fails to keep the throne, and a new queen rises to power, Katherine finds herself surrounded by adversaries. Since Queen Elizabeth sees her as a threat, and court conspirators see her as an ally, Katherine is forced to play a game she knows she cannot win. And when she reunites with the man she truly loves, Katherine has even more at stake. With treachery at every turn and the life she dreams of within reach, Katherine must make an impossible choice: Will she submit to the queen’s authority, or will she pursue love no matter the cost?

ISBN: 9789781503945 - Coming 11th Aug by Lake Union Publishing

I received a copy from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: I enjoy reading a range of historical fiction novels varying from Medieval or Regency to Scottish Highlands (yes Outlander I mean you) and the affairs of the Tudors. With so many examples out there it is often difficult to find an untold story. I often find myself feeling as though I've already several versions of the same story. With Prisoner of the Queen I felt as though it was new story because E. Knight has focused on a lesser know character from English history.

Lady Katherine Grey is the younger sister of Lady Jane Grey, who was part of a failed rebellion against Mary Tudor (after the death of Edward VI). The plot saw her placed as Queen for nine days. As a relative of Henry VIII and subsequently Mary and Elizabeth Tudor and the doomed Jane, Katherine has her every movement monitored. Her life isn't her own and she serves as a pawn in a battle she never wants to be in.

I don't think I've ever cried reading a historical novel before but Katherine's story is heartbreakingly sad and I felt completely devastated by her struggles. The love story element is sweet and charming but is made all the more poignant by the simple fact that it was real (albeit it retold in a fictionalised account). 

All Katherine wants is to live a happy, normal life with the man she loves, but time and time again their plans are interrupted by outside forces. I expected to be annoyed with Queen Mary but I actually found myself getting extremely agitated by Queen Elizabeth's actions. I cried for Katherine and Ned's plight.

For those readers who are convinced historical novels are all fluff and no substance then they should give Prisoner of the Queen a chance to show them the greater depths of the genre. Yes, E. Knight fully admits she has taken certain liberties with the facts and altered events by creating a voice for these historical figures. However, she has also researched real historical events and offers a different approach when looking at the lives of the Tudors and Greys. 

I only wish I didn't already know how the story ended. If you don't know much about Lady Katherine Grey (spelt as Catherine in some sources) and Edward Seymour (make sure you get the correct Edward) then I suggest you read the book first before researching them, as you'll discover huge spoilers about their lives.

4 Stars in my Sky!

Author Spotlight:

E. Knight is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of the Tales from the Tudor Court series. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and Romance Writers of America and the creator of the popular historical blog History Undressed. Knight lives in Maryland with her own knight and three princesses.


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