I have been ignoring my blogging responsibilities lately due to some health issues, but I am feeling better and part of the reason is because of this book.
A couple of weeks ago I did a very clumsy thing and fell at work on my way to the Ladies room. Of all things my non-slip sandal actually got stuck on the floor and I just kept going falling face forward and hitting my chest on the door frame on my way down landing on both knees. Unfortunately I was alone in the office and it scared me to death. I couldn't get up for awhile. When I did I turned off my computer, locked the doors and went home crying my head off. It hurt like crazy. I managed to get ice on everything, get in bed and grab a book. The book I grabbed off the shelf was none other than The Secrets of the Tudor Court. To tell the truth I wasn't planning on too much because this is the author's debut novel , etc. Was I in for a surprise!!!! From the first page it got me. I love the Tudor era. It seems to be never ending. Always some intrigue or new character that hasn't yet been explored. This book doesn't disappoint.
Mary Howard the daughter of Thomas Howard the 3rd Duke of Norfolk is our lovely protagonist who grows up in the Tudor Court beginning with being a young lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn. She is there through it all, the banishment of Catherine of Aragon. The rise and fall of Anne Boleyn. Anne of Cleve's divorce. The execution of her young sweet cousin Katherine Howard, and Catherine Parr's gentle care of King Henry in his final years. Mary marries the King's bastard son Henry FitzRoy and is not allowed to consummate the marriage. FitzRoy will die young never having made Mary his actual wife. She will be left destitute and have to fight for her rightful inheritance from her husband. She is used as a pawn by her scheming, ambitious father the Duke of Norfolk. She witness's her mother being abused by her father and she will know first hand betrayal, neglect and violence at her father's hand. Through all of this Mary maintains her dignity and, unbelievable as it sounds, her love and duty towards her father. She was the best contribution he ever made to this world, and in the end one would hope he realized this.
The author weaves an amazing story depicting their love/ hate relationship. The book is full of richly developed characters and plots. You might say the book could have been titled Yet Another Howard in The Tudor Court or the Tudor era could actually have been the Howard era. There were so many Howard's compared to Tudors. The Tudors were not prolific, but my word there were, and still Howard's coming out of the wood work. My goodness Katherine Howard was one of 10 children, the Duke himself was one of many as well. There are a lot of Howard descendants around including me. I never knew anything really about the Duke of Norfolk's immediate family. Somehow I could never imagine him having a wife and children. It was very interesting finding out about Mary and her brother the Earl of Surrey both of which were played by their father to meet his ambitions.
This book is well worth the purchase. You will not be disappointed. It will move you, it did me.
Ms. Bogdon is a talented author and this being her debut novel is amazing. I really look forward to her other books that will surely follow.
4.5 royal stars from me