The King’s Rose by Alisa Libby
Posted May 9, 2009on:
Author: Alisa M. Libby
Good If… You enjoy historical romances.
Summary: (Taken from Amazon)
Though well aware of her cousin Anne Boleyn’s fate only four years earlier, 15-year-old Catherine Howard acquiesces with her ambitious, conniving relatives’ plans and marries King Henry VIII. He calls her “my rose without a thorn,” but she is well aware of the thorny secrets she conceals: no virgin when she and the king married, she later begins a sexual liaison at court, partly in a desperate effort to produce an heir. Soon, Catherine begins a downward spiral toward madness and despair. An author’s note separates historical fact from conjecture in this account of Catherine’s short years as Henry’s “rose.” Libby offers a convincing, sympathetic portrayal of a young woman who relinquishes her hopes of marrying for love and finds herself doomed by her choices and deceptions. Hardly an active heroine, Catherine falls into a trap early on and, in the end, has little left but her dignity. This one’s for historical-fiction fans who will appreciate this character study of Henry’s fifth wife.
My Thoughts:I picked this one up due to my newly found fascination with King Henry VIII. I must admit that at first, I had no clue going on, with all of the court speak and repeated names. It look me a good hundred pages or so to understand who was related to who and which person they were (seriously, how many Janes, Catherines, and Annes can you have in one book?) but once I finally got it, everything began falling into place. The back-stabbing and deception that goes on between the characters is absolutely ridiculous but also, sadly, realistic. Even though the ending is quite obvious if you know anything about Henry, I found myself rooting for Catherine throughout the whole book. The ending, even though I knew it was coming, was heartbreaking for me and I found myself near tears at one point.
If you’re a history buff or just enjoy historical romances, I definitely recommend you pick this one up ASAP.