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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Murder Most Royal by Jean Plaidy

Hello Royal Readers,

This week on Royal Reviews is Queenly Reads Week. Do you have a favorite Queen? Stop by this week to see what our Royal Reviewers think. Once again feel free to leave your comments or questions.

Best Wishes & Happy Reading The Queen of the Quill.

Here to kick things off is the Princess of Pop Culture

Title: Murder Most Royal

Author: Jean Plaidy

Publisher: Three Rivers Press

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publishing Date: 2006 (Originally published 1949)

Rating: 4.5 Crowns

Synopsis: In the court of Henry VIII, it was dangerous for a woman to catch the king's eye. Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were cousins. Both were beautiful women, though very different in temperament. They each learned that Henry's passion was all-consuming - and fickle.
Sophisticated Anne Boleyn, raised in the decadent court of France, was in love with another man when King Henry claimed her as his own. Being his mistress gave her a position of power; being his queen put her life in jeopardy. Her younger cousin, Catherine Howard, was only fifteen when she was swept into the circle of King Henry. Her innocence attracted him, but a past mistake was destined to haunt her.

Painted in the rich colors of Tudor England, Murder Most Royal is a page turning journey into the lives of two of the wives of the tempestuous Henry VIII.

My Review: Jean Plaidy once again works her magic in this lovely tale of the two most ill fated queens married to Henry VIII. If you are a Tudor fan, and have never read anything by Plaidy, this is definitely a great one to start with. I dreaded the times when I was forced to put it down, I would have happily read the book in one sitting if I had the chance.

I loved the way Plaidy mixed the lives of Anne and Catherine, making potential guesses as to their interaction and what they may have thought of each other, especially with them not knowing until the end that they would share the same fate.

I will never cease to be fascinated with Anne Boleyn, and no matter how many times I read something about her, I always hope her story will end differently. I feel so much for this woman, and imagine how horrible it would have been to be torn away from your love, swept up in the extravagance of the Tudor Court.

Even Catherine is painted in a more sympathetic life than I've seen her in previously - you get to see her whole life, from being a young child of a year or so to her death. I found myself feeling how unfair her life must have been - she wanted nothing more than to be happy, and simply had the misfortune of marrying a mad man.

Knowing what happens in the end for both of these women gives an interesting light to peripheral characters, especially Jane Rochford, who played such a crucial role in the fate of them all. For me, history is filled with "what if's", and Jane's actions have perhaps more what if's than that of any other.

I cannot say enough good about this story, and I strongly encourage everyone to read it at they're first chance!

Visit Crystal @ I Totally Paused


Momma Hunt said...

I have been really getting into Tudor reading. This is going to get added to my must read selection

Connie said...

I love Jean Plaidy's books because they are such a perfect blend of factual and fictional. Great review!

Holly said...

I loved this one! I liked her stand alones on Anne and Catherine-The Lady in the Tower and the Rose without a Thorn even more.

I've always felt sorry for them both.

Mystica said...

I would love this one. Never get tired of reading about Henry VIII

熙辰 said...

More haste, less speed............................................................................

dolleygurl said...

I have taken a short break from Tudor reading - but I have wanted to read this one for a while. I read her book Rose Without A Thorn about Katherine and really enjoyed it. Thanks!

Crystal - Princess of Pop Culture said...

Momma Hunt - I definitely recommend it, it's a fantastic read and one of my favorite things about Plaidy is how you can learn at the same time you enjoy yourself :)

Connie - You're absolutely right, that's one of my favorite things as well!

Holly - I haven't read The Rose Without a Thorn yet, but I really have meant to. I likewise feel sorry for both of them.

Mystica - I never get tired of it either, reading about Henry and his wives is always interesting.

dolleygurl - I definitely recommend it when you're back into Tudor reading, well worth the time.