Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Review: The King's Damsel by Kate Emerson

The King's Damsel by Kate Emerson
Gallery Books
August 2012
Format: Paperback ARC, 368 pages

First line: Star of Hartlake sensed my troubled spirit.

From the back cover: Handmaid. Spy. Mistress. Anxious to secure his own success at the glittering court of Henry VIII, heiress Tamsin Lodge's ambitious guardian obtains her a position as maid of honor to young Princess Mary Tudor. Tamsin soon comes to love the neglected child, but in the Tudor court, not even a princess is secure. Mary's father is besotted with the lovely Anne Boleyn, and the girl's future has grown perilous. Plotting to be Mary's eyes and ears, Tamsin joins Anne's service, but the handsome silk worker who is her co-conspirator may be her undoing. While marriage with a merchant  is unthinkable, she cannot resist Rafe Pinckney's embraces. When Tamsin also attracts the lusty Henry, she must choose between loyalty and desire...With Anne's jealousy growing dangerous, can Tamsin survive the schemes and seductions that surround her?

My thoughts: This is Kate Emerson's 5th book in her Secrets of the Tudor Court series, a series I have come to really enjoy! I love all things Tudor and Kate Emerson gives us a different view of life during this time by focusing on some of the lesser-known courtiers instead of focusing mainly on the big players.

The King's Damsel is Tamsin Lodge's story. After losing both her father and brother, her guardian puts her in the position of maid of honor to the young Princess Mary. Tamsin quickly becomes a loyal to Mary and it is this loyalty to Mary that allows Tamsin to get herself a spot on Anne Boleyn's services where she can spy for Mary. She does this with the help of Rafe, silk merchant they use for their fabrics. Creating a secret code for messages, she is able to communicate with Mary with no one the wiser. All seems to be going well while in Anne's service, until she manages to catch Henry's roving eye. This does not sit well with Anne. Will Tamsin get out of this predicament unscathed?

Kate Emerson proves time and again that she knows her stuff regarding the Tudor period. She is able to write clear, vivid descriptions that make it seem as if you are right there at court with the characters. Her books are all easy to get caught up in and we get a different perspective of court life through the eyes of lesser known people. Even after reading quite a few books about the situations involved in this book, I feel that I learn something new. It's not the same old story told over again. I look forward to seeing who's story Kate decides to give us next!

Do you read historical fiction? If so, what is your favorite time period to read about?

I received a complimentary copy of The King's Damsel by Kate Emerson from Melissa at Gallery Books.

Books in this series:
  1. The Pleasure Palace
  2. Between Two Queens
  3. By Royal Decree
  4. At the King's Pleasure
  5. The King's Damsel
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