Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review: By Royal Decree by Kate Emerson

First line: On the twenty-ninth day of January in 1542, twenty-six eligible young women sat at the table in White Hall Palace with King Henry.

From the back cover: Charming. Desirable. Forbidden. Brought to court with other eligible young noblewomen by the decree of King Henry VIII, lovely Elizabeth "Bess" Brooke realizes for the first time that beauty can be hazardous. Although Bess has no desire to wed the aging king, she and her family would have little choice if Henry's eye were to fall to her. And other dangers exist as well, for Bess has caught the interest of dashing courtier Will Parr. Bess finds Will's kisses as sweet as honey, but marriage between them may be impossible. Will is a divorced man, and remarriage is still prohibited. Bess and Will must hope that the king can be persuaded to issue a royal decree allowing Will to marry again...but to achieve their goal, the lovers will need royal favor. Amid the swirling alliances of royalty and nobles, Bess and Will perform a dangerous dance of palace intrigue and pulse-pounding passions.

Brought to glowing life by the talented Kate Emerson, and seen through the eyes of a beautiful young noblewoman, By Royal Decree illuminates the lives of beautiful young courtiers in and out of the rich and compelling drama of the Tudor court.

My thoughts: This is the third in Kate Emerson's Secret of the Tudor Court series and once again I really enjoyed it. I think my favorite aspect of the series is that they all focus on the side playing courtiers of the Tudor Court, those that get mentioned here and there, but we never get their full story. Kate Emerson has brought these characters to life in her series.

This installment tells the story of Elisabeth Brooke and William Parr, who have quite the interesting story. They went to through hell to be together and through all the pain and heartache they believed it was worth it. As the story progresses, Bess matures into an amazing, intelligent woman who has the smarts to navigate the perils of court life while keeping her head and Will's. She survives the end of Henry VIII's reign, Edward's short reign, the ill-fated reign of Lady Jane Grey, and the heretic-burning reign of Mary, all the time fighting to be with Will and while trying to play the winning side of the constant political turmoil in that period of British history. 

I find this series really helps me understand all the players involved during the Tudor period. There are many stories out there about the kings and queens, but not as many about the courtiers and I think that's why I really enjoy this series. I look forward to reading the next installment:  At the King's Pleasure which is due out early next year.

(I purchased this book.)

1 comment

  1. This series definitely sounds like something I should check out. I am fascinated by Tudor history but discover that I don't know nearly as much as I thought about it.

    I love that these books are like an indirect history lesson introducing new minor yet incredibly interesting characters.

    I will definitely be adding this series to my list.


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