Friday, June 28, 2013

Review - The Pleasure Palace (Secrets of the Tudor Court #1) by Kate Emerson

The Pleasure Palace (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #1)Title: The Pleasure Palace
Author: Kate Emerson
Series: 1st
Pages: 372
Published:  February 3rd 2009 by Pocket
ISBN:  9781416583202
Source: Purchased Copy

Description: Beautiful. Seductive. Innocent. Jane Popyncourt was brought to the court as a child to be ward of the king and a companion to his daughters -- the princesses Margaret and Mary. With no money of her own, Jane could not hope for a powerful marriage, or perhaps even marriage at all. But as she grows into a lovely young woman, she still receives flattering attention from the virile young men flocking to serve the handsome new king, Henry VIII, who has recently married Catherine of Aragon. Then a dashing French prisoner of war, cousin to the king of France, is brought to London, and Jane finds she cannot help giving some of her heart -- and more -- to a man she can never marry. But the Tudor court is filled with dangers as well as seductions, and there are mysteries surrounding Jane's birth that have made her deadly enemies. Can she cultivate her beauty and her amorous wiles to guide her along a perilous path and bring her at last to happiness?  

I Give This ...

I've had this book sitting on my shelf for awhile.  As the series grew, I kept meaning to pick it up.  I love Tudor England, and this fit the bill perfectly.  

This book really gave a new light to the Tudor court.  Instead of regal and impersonal, I felt like these people might actually be human.  Granted there a instances were you definitely tell that we were dealing with a very powerful court.  All that main events in this time period are showcased throughout the novel.   Events that I'm extremely glad I was familiar with.

Jane might be one of my new favorite unheard of historical people.  I know the author has taken liberties with the characters.  But, I found the set up extremely interesting.  Was it really a possibility that Jane could be as close to this monarchy as the author portrays?  There are documents that show that this might be a possibility.  Who was she to one of the most famous families in history?

I really enjoyed how the story played out.  The book covers a great amount of time, but yet I never felt like it was too much.  We had a starting point of when Jane leaves Brittany and ending of when she ends up back.  There's a great amount of intrigue in the time between.  We learn a great deal of history in the chain of events that happens.  From the death of King Henry VII, Henry VII taking the thrown, and all that comes after, Jane is there.  She sees it all and probably knows more than she should.

As she gets older, the mystery surrounding her sudden arrival in England begins to nag at her.   The problem lies in the fact that her mother died soon after their arrival.  As she tries to track down those who may have known her mother, she learns that people will go to great extremes to cover up secrets.  Especially those that may threaten the thrown.

I loved how the author took the little known facts about Jane Popyncourt and weaved a fantastic and believable tale surrounding her.  I love finding out more about little known characters like this.  Especially ones that might have had the eyes and ears of those at the top of the heirachy!


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