Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: At the King's Pleasure by Kate Emerson

 At the King's Pleasure by Kate Emerson
Gallery Books
January 2012
Format: Paperback, 351 pages

First line: "This latest news from the court pleases me," said Edward Stafford, third Duke of Buckingham, "but my brother's continued confinement in the Tower of London is worrisome."

From the back cover: Married to one man. Desiring another. Beautiful Lady Anne Stafford, lady-in- waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon, is torn between her love for her husband, George, Lord Hastings...and the king’s boon companion, the attentive Sir William Compton. But when King Henry VIII, amorous as always, joins the men clustering around her, Anne realizes she has become perilously enmeshed in the intrigues of the court. Will she be forced to decide between the two men she desires—and the one she doesn’t?

Kate Emerson charms again with a heroine who steps out of the pages of history to win our hearts in this sumptuous novel of Tudor scandal and intrigue.

My thoughts: This is the 4th book in Kate Emerson's Secrets of the Tudor Court series and I really enjoyed it.  I love how Kate Emerson takes lesser known characters from the court of the Tudor kings and queens and tells us their story. 

At the King's Pleasure is centered around Anne Stafford, who is sister to the Duke of Buckingham and a lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon. She is married to Lord Hastings, but manages to catch not only King Henry's eye, but also his boon companion, Sir William Compton's eye. Anne is a strong woman but finds herself at the mercy of her brother and her husband, who at one point have her sent to a nunnery for being in the same room with Compton. While a main portion of the book deals with this love triangle that Anne finds herself in, it also focuses on the trouble that her own family finds itself in, mainly due to her brother who thinks he deserves more in life than he is given, going as far as to believe he himself should be king.

Full of treachery and intrigue, it is easy to get caught up in everything that goes on in this story. There are quite a few scenes at court itself, with the dancing, costumes and food, and of course the jousting events and hunting that the king and his entourage participate in. Kate Emerson gives us enough details that it is easy to feel as if you are right there with the characters.

I love reading about the people and court life during the Tudor period. There are so many good books out there that tackle this time period, most of those focusing on the kings and queens. Kate Emerson stands out for tackling the stories of those lesser known courtiers. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series, The King's Damsel.

(I purchased this book.)

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


  1. I never tire of the Tudor era and I have this series to read, just not sure when I'm going to get to it but I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

    1. It's really good and the books move along at a pretty good pace, so they don't take that long to read.


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