Mar 14, 2009

"Secrets of the Tudor Court: The Pleasure Palace" by Kate Emerson



Publisher: Pocket (February 3, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1416583203

Kate Emerson veers off her normal routine by tackling the dramas of the Tudor Court with this new novel. Jane Popyncourt's life is fictionalized in this fun novel although she truly was a ward of King Henry VII. We are introduced to Jane Popyncourt as a young girl fleeing her home France to seek refuge in England with the King. Jane is young enough to not question how it is that she has this privilege, although as a reader that is in the back of our minds, we are just made aware there is a family connection.

Meanwhile, orphaned Jane is being raised with the Royal Family, befriending Lady Mary and tutoring her and her sister Margaret in French. Years later, as Jane is reunited with a childhood friend from France, she realizes there is some mystery to her background. She begins her quest among unhelpful court ladies to learn more about her mother.

Jane is portrayed as knowing how to act as a lady at the appropriate times, but she is ready to sow some wild oats when she meets a dashing Duc de Longueville Louis D'Orleans, a prisoner of War. Thus she gains a reputation, coupled with the fact that she is a foreigner, she does not have a bright future ahead of her. Jane must find her way, and learn the truth to her heritage amidst a dangerous time of war.

Kate's novel is full of historical tidbits as far as how the courtiers dresssed, their jewels, the pageants and parties; just enough information to not sound like non-fiction but more to give us a sense of being right there in Jane's presence. This is a novel full of romance, mystery and intrigue. The writing was well-done and the book was an easy read and I am looking forward to the next installment in the Tudor Court series. This is a must read for anyone who enjoys Historical Fiction, I give this one 5 stars!

A big thanks to Kate for sending me this book!