Discover the Plight of "The King's Damsel

The King's Damsel (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #5) 
Title:  The King's Damsel
(Secrets of the Tudor Court #5)
Author:  Kate Emerson
Format:  Print
Length:  368 pages
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Rating:  4 stars
In the fifth novel in Kate Emerson's highly acclaimed Secrets of the Tudor Court series, a young gentlewoman catches King Henry the Eighth's roving eye.In 1533 and again in 1534, Henry the Eighth reportedly kept a mistress while he was married to Anne Boleyn. Now, that mistress comes to vivid life in Kate Emerson's The King's Damsel.
A real-life letter from Spanish Ambassador Eustace Chapuys, written on September 27, 1534, reported that the king had "renewed and increased the love he formerly bore to another very handsome young lady of the Court" and that the queen had tried "to dismiss the damsel from her service." Other letters from Eustace reveal that the mystery woman was a "true friend" of the Princess (later Queen) Mary, Henry's daughter by Catherine of Aragon. Though no one knows who "the king's damsel" really was, here Kate Emerson presents her as young gentlewoman Thomasine Lodge, a lady-in-waiting to King Henry's daughter, Princess Mary. Thomasine becomes the Princess's confidante, especially as Henry's marriage to Catherine dissolves and tensions run high. When the king procures a divorce in order to marry Anne Boleyn, who is suspicious and distrustful of Mary, Mary has Thomasine placed in Anne's service to be her eyes and ears. And that's when she gets the attention of the king...
Rich in historical detail and featuring a wealth of bonus material, The King's Damsel is sure to keep readers coming back for more in the exciting series.

My Thoughts
It seems that all is lost for young Tamsin Lodge, when at 13 she loses both her father and brother, only to realize that she is now the ward of greedy social climber, Sir. Lionel Daggett.  Wanting only to procure Tamsin's fortune for himself and make in roads with the royal court; Sir. Daggett secures a position for his young charge in the service of Princess Mary Tudor.
Thanks to her quick wit, sweet disposition, and way with stories; Tamsin finds herself in the prime position of "princess' favorite".  A position that while enviable in some respects, manages to put the young Miss Lodge square in the cross hairs of both the "playboy king," Henry VIII and the conniving Anne Boleyn.
Kate Emerson is a master at writing "against all odds" reads, and this book does not disappoint.  You just want to scream at the book; when in the opening chapters, Sir. Daggett is allowed to waltz in and dismantle this young girl's life.
Just when you think that there is no way that you will ever possibly recover from the injustice of it all,  the young lady finds happiness and security in the service of Mary Tudor.
Don't take this to mean however, that there are no snakes among those Tudor roses, because with all the power struggles going on behind the gilded doors of court; the emotional roller-coaster of the first few chapters proves itself a  mere series of bunny slopes.  

Though this book is beautifully written and the characters fully expressed, the interactions between our heroine and the roguish King Henry don't  ring as true as those relationships based in clear historical fact.  This is where her romantic notions about Rafe, the son of a silkwoman, as well as the spying and intrigue that she involves herself in on behalf of her beloved Princess Mary,  act as a saveing grace of sorts.  The detraction from this otherwise delightful read that can not be overlooked however, is the rushed ending.  Unfortunately, the author's need to get the story finished and tie everything up in what is referred to at WTF as "the big bow," leaves the reader with quite a few trailing ends.
My Rating:

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