Queen’s Gambit – Elizabeth Fremantle

Queen's Gambit

“The court of Henry VIII is rife with intrigue, rivalries and romance – and none are better placed to understand this than the women at its heart.

Katherine Parr, widowed for the second time aged thirty-one, is obliged to return to court but, suspicious of the ageing king and those who surround him, she does so with reluctance. Nevertheless, when she finds herself caught up in a passionate affair with the dashing and seductive Thomas Seymour, she believes she might finally be able to marry for love. But her presence at court has attracted the attentions of another . . .

Captivated by her honesty and intelligence, Henry Tudor has his own plans for Katherine and no one is in the position to refuse a proposal from the king. So with her charismatic lover dispatched to the continent, Katherine must accept the hand of the ailing egotistical monarch and become Henry’s sixth wife – and yet she has still not quite given up on love”

Firstly I’d like to thank the publishers for sending me this book to read and give an honest review.

The prologue introduced Katherine as she took care of her dying husband, it also hinted at a terrible event in her past and I quickly found myself warming to her as a character.  Moving on to the first chapter and Katherine was grieving because her husband had died, she was also dealing with her guilt over the part she played in his death!

A visit to court was a difficult one for Katherine as she faced the attention of Thomas Seymour, he created a wave of unexpected feelings in her which she tried to push to one side but was unsuccessful. I really enjoyed the ensuing relationship between the two of them.  The unwanted attention from the king worried Katherine so when he sent Thomas away and made his intentions clear I felt really sad for her.

Katherine’s marriage to Henry was not easy, although she attempted to put her own opinions forward on religion and other important matters at the beginning, she soon learned to keep her thoughts to herself or face the same fate as his previous wives.  I was surprised by her initial manipulation of the King because I knew what would happen if he realised what she was doing.

The other characters in the story intrigued me just as much as the main characters, particularly Katherine’s stepdaughter Meg and her maid Dot.  Dot’s story and relationship with William Savage was especially interesting to me, her life was fascinating and I thought she was very likeable.

Before reading this book I already knew a bit about Katherine and I was pleased to discover that the author had managed to incorporate what was known about this time in history while still retaining the fictional edge that keeps me interested in a book.  It was beautifully written with an intriguing atmosphere and some very touching moments – I found myself feeling a range of emotions on behalf of the characters.

This was a compelling read that took me on an exciting historical journey, I look forward to more from this author!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elizabeth Fremantle used to work as a fashion editor for top magazines including Elle and Vogue. Wanting to develop her writing skills, Fremantle gave up her job to go to university when she was in her 30s and a single parent to two children.  Her personal story is fascinating and shows that you CAN fulfil your dreams, even with difficult circumstances.

To find out more about Elizabeth Fremantle click on the following links:

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Queen’s Gambit was published by Michael Joseph and released on 14 March 2013, it can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.