Review: Queen’s Gambit

Posted September 9, 2013 by Whitney in Review / 1 Comment

I received this book for free from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Queen’s GambitQueen's Gambit
Author Elizabeth Fremantle
Series: The Tudor Trilogy #1
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Publication Date August 6, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour
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Widowed for the second time at age thirty-one Katherine Parr falls deeply for the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour and hopes at last to marry for love. However, obliged to return to court, she attracts the attentions of the ailing, egotistical, and dangerously powerful Henry VIII, who dispatches his love rival, Seymour, to the Continent. No one is in a position to refuse a royal proposal so, haunted by the fates of his previous wives - two executions, two annulments, one death in childbirth - Katherine must wed Henry and become his sixth queen.

Katherine has to employ all her instincts to navigate the treachery of the court, drawing a tight circle of women around her, including her stepdaughter, Meg, traumatized by events from their past that are shrouded in secrecy, and their loyal servant Dot, who knows and sees more than she understands. With the Catholic faction on the rise once more, reformers being burned for heresy, and those close to the king vying for position, Katherine's survival seems unlikely. Yet as she treads the razor's edge of court intrigue, she never quite gives up on love.

Excluding the Boleyn sisters I have read very few books on Henry’s many wives particularly his sixth and last wife, Kathrine Parr.

Elizabeth Fremantle’s novel is soaking in detail from the descriptions of the elaborate dresses and jewels to the filth of living conditions creating a vivid portrait of 1500s court.

I have always enjoyed books that are told from different perspectives which Queen’s Gambit conquers seamlessly.  I was interested in Kathrine Parr’s point of view but let’s face it, we all know her most pressing problems were her inability to produce an heir and circumvent being burned at the stake. I preferred reading the novel through the eyes of secondary characters, the Queen’s maid-servant Dot and personal Physician Huicke.  Both were devoted to the queen and had unique, original voices with a story just as interesting to tell.  I would have been devastated if either had been sent to the guillotine.

The pacing of Queen’s Gambit was thrilling, reading at top speed to see what would happen next.  Wait a minute, didn’t I just say that Kathrine Parr’s story was predictable?  Perhaps, but as I stated earlier I know very little of Henry’s spouses.  Thus everything was a bright as a new spring morning.

Queen’s Gambit is an enthralling novel of epic proportions, being a fantastic novel of historical fiction.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHORElizabeth Fremantle

 

Elizabeth Fremantle holds a first class degree in English and an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck College London. She has contributed as a fashion editor to various publications including Vogue, Elle and The Sunday Times. QUEEN’S GAMBIT is her debut novel and is the first in a Tudor trilogy. The second novel, SISTERS OF TREASON, will be released in 2014. She lives in London.
For more about Elizabeth and her future projects, please visit her website. You can also follow her on FacebookTwitterGoodreads and Pinterest.

 

VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, August 12
Feature & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, August 13
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, August 14
Review & Giveaway at Confessions of an Avid Reader
Thursday, August 15
Review at From Left to Write
Friday, August 16
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Monday, August 19
Interview at A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, August 20
Review & Giveaway at Book-alicious Mama
Wednesday, August 21
Review at The Happy Booker
Thursday, August 22
Review & Giveaway at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Friday, August 23
Review & Giveaway at vvb32 Reads
Interview at The Happy Booker
Monday, August 26
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, August 27
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Wednesday, August 28
Review at Medieval Bookworm
Thursday, August 29
Review at The Musings of ALMYBNENR
Friday, August 30
Review at The Tudor Book Blog
Monday, September 2
Feature & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Interview at Layered Pages
Tuesday, September 3
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Wednesday, September 4
Review at Booktalk & More
Interview & Giveaway at The Tudor Book Blog
Thursday, September 5
Review at A Book Geek
Friday, September 6
Review at History Undressed
Review & Giveaway at Drey’s Library
Review & Giveaway at Always with a Book
Monday, September 9
Review at She Is Too Fond of Books
Tuesday, September 10
Review at A Bookish Libraria
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, September 11
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Thursday, September 12
Review at Closed the Cover
Review at Carole’s Ramblings and Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
Friday, September 13
Review & Giveaway at Books in the Burbs

 

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