Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: The King's Daughter by Barbara Kyle

First line: Snow crunched under the feet of three cloaked figures - a queen, her lady, and a gravedigger - as they hurried along a moonlit path in Windsor Castle's lower ward.

From the back cover: Upon the death of her father, Henry VIII, Queen Mary assumes the throne after a long and bitter wait. Her first order of business is to wed the devout Prince Phillip of Spain, creating a powerful alliance that will transform Mary's fanatical dream of ridding England of Protestantism into terrifying reality. And so beings the reign of Bloody Mary...

Even as she plans for her own nuptials, Isabel Thornleigh is helping to lay the groundwork to overthrow Mary and bring Elizabeth to power. But none of the secrets Isabel has discovered compares to the truths hidden in her own family. With her beloved father imprisoned by Queen Mary, only Carlos Valverde - a Spanish soldier of fortune - can help Isabel. Now with England's future at stake, Isabel risks all to change the course of history...

Filled with lavish period detail and fascinating characters, The King's Daughter mesmerizes readers as it takes them into a riveting world of riches, pageantry, passion, and danger...

My thoughts: This is the second in Barbara Kyle's Thornleigh series and I found it to be as exciting as the first one. I had the opportunity to read this entire series back to back (to back to back) and felt that each subsequent book picks up where the previous one ends.

In The King's Daughter, we are introduced to Honor Thornleigh's daughter, Isabel during the reign of Mary Tudor. As Mary prepares to marry the incredibly devout Prince Philip of Spain, Isabel prepares to marry herself, but unwittingly finds herself caught up in a scheme to dethrone the Catholic Mary and replace her with the Protestant Elizabeth. The stakes rise even higher when Mary puts Isabel's father in prison, and her only hope lies in a mysterious and roguish Spaniard, Carlos Valverde.

The King's Daughter brings to life the religious cleansing under the reign of Bloody Mary as well as the counter insurgency. As we follow the fictitious characters Isabel Thornleigh and Carlos Valverde, along with the rest of the Thornleighs and the Grenvilles, we do meet up with some historical characters - Queen Mary, Sir Thomas Wyatt and his supporters, Prince Phillip of Spain and numerous others.  There is danger, intrigue and romance in this novel and again, my favorite aspect of this series is that we get a chance to see the life of non-royals during the Tudor reign.

(I purchased this book.)
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