My review It is just an amazing historical fiction book And this is going to be a bit long review..or maybe a lot lolIt is a remarkable story of King Henry VIII s fifth wife and for those who don t know, he had 6 wives , Catherine Howard She was married to the King at the age of fifteen when the King was nearly 50 and was executed under the charge of adultery approximately two years after her marriage with the King This book is told from Catherine s perspective, young and beautiful but with a doomed life Alisa M Libby has provided an up close and personal narrative that truly brings Catherine to life No detail has been overlooked, every aspect has been thoroughly researched Libby has a way of writing that captivates the reader Well, I was captivated by this one at least.Catherine was born in a family that technically uses her to increase their status at the court She was just fifteen as mentioned before when she caught the eyes of the King She was given no right to choose whether to accept it or vice versa since she was not a royal, plus with the urge from her family She ended up accepting the proposal What interesting here is, she became the girl her family created her to be, or the girl the King wished her to be Catherine was pictured to the King as a pure girl, who had so much common things with the late Queen Jane who was much loved by the King So, she was forced to be the girl and to burn her past, pretended like it never existed at the first place And thus, her life of deception began.Provided by the King s love and the power and support she gained from her family, Catherine believed that she had power than her late cousin who were also the King s widely known second wife, Anne Boleyn Boleyn was also executed in the charge of bewitching the King in their marriage At least that was what everyone thought Catherine then learned that Boleyn was nothing like that She was destroyed because the King was annoyed with her or something which made her family came to the conclusion that she was no longer a help to them So, they came together to destroy her I know Back to Catherine s story Then, long story shorten, Catherine soon found herself shadowed by her past life She was forced to take girls from Lambeth her old home in her household, basically to keep their mouths shut for they knew some black secrets of her during her past life there She was also pressured by her undying love for her past partner, Thomas Culpepper who actually worked for the King and the fact that she was unable to provide an heir to the King, she was forced to restart her affair with Culpepper Then, her love for him bloomed again and bla bla bla she slipped back into her old life.Fast forward Then her foolish actions came to light The Howards came to the conclusion that she was no use to them any, so Catherine was abandoned The King no longer thought of her as his rose without thorn, and the fact that she had hurt, humiliated and broke his heart is too painful to bear One by one people related to Catherine was taken in into the Tower, and was tortured and asked about information of the real Catherine Here is the part where it touched my heart the strongest Catherine was betrayed by Thomas the man who used to vow that he would protect her from anything, condemned by her family as well as Lady Rochford, who helped her all the way into the court and stayed by her side every seconds She was haunted by the ghost of Boleyn She then realised that her fate and her cousin s fate was intertwined They were both known as traitors to the King s heart.During her imprisonment, she was aided by three maids, who were so kind to her They treated her like a queen although they knew she would be executed They prayed with her, and they forced her to share her pain with them, as Catherine became hysterical day by day about the truth that she crammed inside her After spitting everything out to her three trusted maids, she felt better And she no longer acted hysterically At the night before her execution day, she was said to practise laying her head on the block, brought to her room at her request She accept her death calmly, though she was afraid and needed aid from her crying maids to get up the stairs She put a coin into the hand of the executioner and said she forgave him for what he would do later THAT was sohuh She asked the people to pray for her, and silently prayed for forgiveness from God And after a little bit of pain, she saw a bright light that does not hurt her eyes And she was smiling She said, she was finally home Oh myIt s a book that touched my interest, and eventually my heart We always hear that this not famous queen was a mere traitor to the King Through this book, I can actually see that she was merely a young and fresh girl, too young to carry the burden of becoming a queen, adjusting herself to survive in the court and at the same time satisfying the need of an aging King despite the all the knowledge she learnt from the Duchess And about Thomas, I really think that he spit out the truth about Catherine after being tortured too much I am quite sure that he still loved her until his death because the day he died, Catherine saw him outside her window, pale but serene, smiled to her and waved before he turned and walked away Or it could may be just something Catherine pictured herself, since she was not really in her right mind then But, according to popular folklore, her final words were, I die a Queen, but I would rather have died the wife of Culpeper, although this is widely discredited One of the parts that will stay embedded in my memory from the book is at the end where Catherine is pleading to the King to show mercy and Henry just passes by without even a nod in her direction To think that she was not famous compared to her extremely infamous cousin is such a sad thing.This will be one my fav books of ALL time 6 5 Libby is just so awesome. I loved Alisa Libby s story about Catherine Howard, Henry VIII s 5th wife It is a tragic story of a young girl of 15 who is used by her family, loved by a king and betrayed by her past.One of the things made clear in this novel is the greed of the main players at court, the Howard s and the Seymour s This poor girl never had a chance, the Seymour s wanted her dead so that Jane s son Edward would be King and as he was only 4 years old one of them would be the caretaker of the crown These families would stop at nothing, they used their young beautiful woman like cattle, caring nothing for them and their young men as pawns The court of Henry VIII was a dangerous place indeed You would rather have been born a peasant in this time than be born into one of these families.Henry died when he was 56 years old, which is quite a feat considering his ailments and ulcerated leg He was a very old 49 year old man when he married Catherine Howard and she was a young and terrified girl Yes she was seduced by the glittering jewels and beautiful gowns and her own stupidity got her beheaded, however Alisa Libby opens up a different side to Catherine than the brief accounts I ve read of her before She takes her out of the history books and into the real world, she gives her a heart and soul and fear A fear she lives with every day.I highly recommend this historical novel about Henry VIII s 5th wife, it takes you deep into the frightening world of the Tudor court. Born into the ambitious Howard family, Catherine has never had much control over her life and fate Her cousin, the infamous Anne Boleyn, lured King Henry VIII into marriage then met a grisly end Hoping for a marriage that will benefit the family, Catherine s relatives send her to court in 1540, when she is fifteen There, Catherine catches the eye of the king, who decides to divorce his current wife, Anne of Cleves, and marry her Though Catherine would prefer to marry for love, one does not refuse the king, and even if she could, her family is determined to gain power through her marriage.From the start, Catherine feels like she is living a lie, and playing a part to be the wife Henry desires He wanted a pure, innocent maiden, and Catherine had a foolish and youthful love affair before coming to court, an event the king must never learn about Woefully unprepared for the life she must live, Catherine struggles with her own immaturity and the conflicting desires of the king and her family, and is forced to make terrible choices that will lead to her doom.The King s Rose is a wonderful historical novel for young adults and adults as well about the life of King Henry VIII s fifth and youngest wife, Catherine Howard The author did a good job of bringing Catherine to life and making it understandable why she made the choices she did Catherine is tragic figure a young girl, unprepared for the life of a queen, forced into a terrible situation by her family in a time when a young woman had few choices and little right to control her own destiny I highly recommend this book to readers who are fascinated by the Tudors as well as those who enjoy historical fiction in general. Solid I wish this author had a backlog I could read through I d love for her to write the other wives stories Originally posted at Small Review Catherine Howard is not a Henry VIII wife I ve given much thought toward My initial introductions to her were not very positive, nor did they go into much depth Basically, Catherine was a fluffy headed wonton who died because she cheated on the king The end.Except, when is a person ever that simple Well, shame on me for not putting much thought into Catherine beyond that But, thankfully, Alisa M Libby decided to look deeper.The King s Rose follows Catherine s first person perspective starting at the very end of Henry s marriage to Anne of Cleves and covers her marriage to the king straight until her death The chapters are very short and that, combined with the lower page count, make this a pretty quick book to read.The events aren t all that spectacular or exciting, so readers who aren t historical fiction fans, and in particular historical biographical fiction, will likely be pretty bored with Catherine s story While there is romance, it is not particularly romantic and definitely not swoony Also, Catherine has a lot of sex, so this one is much YA and up But that s all pretty much a limitation of, you know, historical fact.Mostly the book focuses on Catherine s feelings, and in this Alisa M Libby excels It s easy to judge Catherine s situation from the outside looking in and it s easy to conclude she was stupid and got what she deserved a sentiment seared into my memory by wife number six in Ann Rinaldi s excellent Nine Days a Queen.But how would you feel if you were a child, trapped in a marriage you didn t ask for, pressured by your family, forced to sleep with an old man, blackmailed, in love with someone else, desperate for a son, and terrified by the example of four prior wives two of whom were rejected, one who died in childbirth, and one your cousin who was beheaded That s a pretty sucky situation In The King s Rose, Catherine s emotions are vividly portrayed I felt consumed by constant fear and desperation and finally, finally I felt like I could understand why Catherine would do what she did Of course we don t know if that explanation is what actually motivated her, but it makes sense and I imagine even if that wasn t the actual impetus she was probably still feeling those things to some degree.Bottom lineI m a big fan of historical biographical fiction, so The King s Rose was a hit with me I appreciated this closer look at Catherine as a person and I finally feel like I sympathize with her and her situation Alisa M Libby humanized Catherine and I now care about her as a person instead of brushing her off as the silly fifth wife, now moving on I hope Alisa M Libby writes historical fiction.Originally posted at Small Review First off, I d like to say I hate when Katherine Howard is depicted as either a stupid twit or a wanton slut Luckily, that wasn t the case with this novel While we know virtually nothing about the unfortunate fifth Queen of Henry VIII, I tend to think of her as a victim of her family, of her King and husband and of her youth She was a young girl thrown into marriage with an old man and while I don t think she was stupid, I do think she was naive I think she wanted the freedom to be what she was young and in love with Thomas Culpepper She was naive enough to think that love would conquer all something I can relate to and she paid for that belief with her life This is a believable portrayal of her life I was lucky enough to receive an autographed copy of this book from the author and loved adding it to my collection of Tudor books Thanks Alisa for the copy of the book and for the great read I read it in a day, barely putting it down
This, quite frankly, was not a book I enjoyed reading hence the three stars It is, however, a great book.A few points 1 The protagonist Catherine, as one of Henry VII s wives, is doomed from the start, and the author is unflinching in addressing this.2 The prose can be a bit heavy handed at times, too noticeable, too prosy Mostly, though, it s smooth different in exactly the right way, always reminding you while you read that the book is historical, but not distracting you from the story.3 Catherine isn t a very likable character she s a bit too selfish for that but she is a sympathetic one Partly because you know she s going to die, partly because she s fifteen Fifteen 4 The way her downfall is addressed again, unflinching in its ugliness is very well done The way Catherine is haunted by the ghosts of former queens is brilliant 5 The power struggles, the way Catherine is treated as a pawn, the way everyone tries to manipulate everyone else and is willing to lie and cause deaths for power, the way that parties with vested interests made sure that Catherine would die, is nightmarish.6 The ending, oddly enough, reminded me of Lady Jane Grey There is an awful history of beheading queens in England I was both admiring and cringing as I read this book I didn t like it much, but it s definitely very good historical fiction. Alisa Libby tackles the events of Henry VIII s fifth marriage, and takes a shot, like so many historical fiction writers before and after her, at getting into the main player s heads This isn t the best re creation of the historic events, but it is a very good story, suggesting Katherine perhaps wasn t as stupid as everyone thinks I don t agree with all the choices Libby makes with her characters, Thomas s character, for example, is way too softened let us not forget he was a rapist but I love the language she uses, over and over empathizing the fact that to live in Tudor England was to be trapped in a play within a play within play, always acting out many roles, and flubbing a line meant death on Henry s stage.The use of masks was very well done, especially for Dereham, and her suggestion as to why Henry loved masques so much struck me as quite brilliant Also, she mixes together her fact and fiction together quite well always a hard task with historical fiction. Recently I ve been reading a lot of historical fiction, and it s hard to tell which are going to be good, and which are the duds.Happily, this one turned out well.I ve always been interested by Katherine Howard, Henry VIII s fifth and youngest wife She always struck me as a girl too young or perhaps just too silly to maneuver through the treacherous waters of the Tudor court This is that story Katherine is caught up in her family s machinations as they try to re create the power they held when Katherine s cousin Anne was queen She s a bit of an innocent, but savvy enough to know that marrying the king is a safer choice than marrying for love Eventually she grows fond of Henry, but her inability to bear a son causes a chain reaction that ends in the tower, as she waits for her doom.