Title: The Queen's Gambit
Author: Elizabeth Fremantle
Length: 432 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Rating: 5 Stars
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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. -Goodreads
My ThoughtsMarried to King Henry VIII, in his declining years, and herself at an age where all traces of youthful dalliance and scandal were thought to be well put abed. Katherine Parr is best known among the infamous 6, as the one who kept her head.
Upon reading the tale presented so handsomely in The King's Gambit, one can only come to realize that it is this amazing queen's ability to "keep her head" and often outwit the men that surround her, that allows her to live out her tenuous reign.
Told from the points of view of both the queen, and her most trusted friend and servant, Dot; The Queen's Gambit gives readers an extremely personal accounting of the life and times of Katherine Parr, as seen from above and below stairs.
This is a book to be devoured and a story to be savored. A veritable feast for the mental and emotional pallet of any reader. A read full of surprises, forbidden passions, best kept secrets, scandal,
failure, triumph, regret, and love.
Katherine's story as told here, reveals a woman who lived her life unafraid to challenge things she deemed unfair, love fiercely, act wisely, and truly be Queen.
This is a read for everyone who is still intrigued by the life and times of the Tudors. Anyone dissatisfied with the rather lackluster accounting of Queen Katherine. Anyone who wants to be swept into the world of pomp and circumstance that is The Queen's Gambit.
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 see www.elizabethfremantle.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.