Monday, October 6, 2014

The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory


Back Cover Blurb

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author behind the Starz original series The White Queen comes the story of lady-in-waiting Margaret Pole and her unique view of King Henry VIII’s stratospheric rise to power in Tudor England.

Regarded as yet another threat to the volatile King Henry VII’s claim to the throne, Margaret Pole, cousin to Elizabeth of York (known as the White Princess) and daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, is married off to a steady and kind Lancaster supporter—Sir Richard Pole. For his loyalty, Sir Richard is entrusted with the governorship of Wales, but Margaret’s contented daily life is changed forever with the arrival of Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon. Margaret soon becomes a trusted advisor and friend to the honeymooning couple, hiding her own royal connections in service to the Tudors.

After the sudden death of Prince Arthur, Katherine leaves for London a widow, and fulfills her deathbed promise to her husband by marrying his brother, Henry VIII. Margaret’s world is turned upside down by the surprising summons to court, where she becomes the chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. But this charmed life of the wealthiest and “holiest” woman in England lasts only until the rise of Anne Boleyn, and the dramatic deterioration of the Tudor court. Margaret has to choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical king, or to her beloved queen; to the religion she loves or the theology which serves the new masters. Caught between the old world and the new, Margaret Pole has to find her own way as she carries the knowledge of an old curse on all the Tudors.

Review
by

The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory is the final novel in The Cousins' War series that began with The White Princess, The Kingmaker's Daughter, The Lady of the Rivers, The Red Queen and The White Queen. This concluding novel is about Margaret Pole, the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, who was executed for treason by his own brother, King Edward IV. This tale is set between 1499-1541, the years when Katharine of Aragon became Queen of England until her death.

Philippa Gregory has brought to life the extraordinary women who lived in this fascinating and treacherous era. The story is written with meticulous research and great depth of understanding of the political and royal intrigues of the time. Margaret Pole, her fears, her aspirations, her emotions are vividly portrayed. She is a woman who preferred to play down her noble heritage – being the cousin of King Henry VIII's mother, Queen Elizabeth of York, and her royal Plantaganent bloodlines that place her and her offspring in direct line to the throne. But to vie for the throne brings murder and execution, and for this reason, Margaret Pole does everything possible to avoid bringing attention to her family.

Another highly recommended and truly beautifully rendered masterpiece by Philippa Gregory and the War of the Roses!