Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Secret Bride ( In The Court of Henry VIII) by Diane Haeger

The Secret Bride: In The Court of Henry VIIITitle: The Secret Bride
Author: Diane Haeger
Series: Part of In The Court of Henry VIII (no need to read in order)
Published: April 2008 by NAL Trade
Pages: 396
ISBN: 9780451223135
Source: Library

Description: Mary Tudor, the headstrong younger sister of the ruthless King Henry VII, has always been her brother's favorite-but now she is also an important political bargaining chip. When she is promised to the elderly, ailing King Louis of France, a heartbroken Mary accepts her fate, but not before extracting a promise from her brother: When the old king dies, her next marriage shall be solely of her choosing. For Mary has a forbidden passion, and is determined, through her own cunning, courage, and boldness, to forge her own destiny.  

I Give This ...
In all my fascination with the Tudor courts, I must have forgotten that Henry VIII had a younger sister.  Or maybe books that talk about Henry are so concentrated on his different wives they forget to mention her (maybe I should have something more on Catherine of Aragon).  I was immediately drawn to a story about someone who could defy the King and get away with it.  

I actually really liked Princess Mary.  You can tell that the characteristic of getting what they want runs in the family (something I think was passed down to Elizabeth I).  But, I think she was smarter about it.  Mary worked in the background.  She knew she was beautiful and she knew the King loved her dearly.  It makes her sound conniving, but she wasn't.  She accepted her duty as a princess of England, but was willing to bargain for what she really wanted.  She also showed she really cared about others.  As powerful as the King was, she still saw him as her older brother and human  I thought she was very sweet with King Louis of France.  I also really enjoyed the different view on the relationship between King Henry VIII and his first wife.   

The story was actually just a little bland.  I think I was expecting more fireworks and something a little bit more fast paced.  It actually covers quite a large time period.  I enjoyed it, but it was a slow read.

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