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The King's Damsel by Kate Emerson

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Synopsis: In the fifth novel in Kate Emerson's highly acclaimed Secrets of the Tudor Court series, a young gentlewoman catches King Henry the Eighth's roving eye.In 1533 and again in 1534, Henry the Eighth reportedly kept a mistress while he was married to Anne Boleyn. Now, that mistress comes to vivid life in Kate Emerson's The King's Damsel.

A real-life letter from Spanish Ambassador Eustace Chapuys, written on September 27, 1534, reported that the king had "renewed and increased the love he formerly bore to another very handsome young lady of the Court" and that the queen had tried "to dismiss the damsel from her service." Other letters from Eustace reveal that the mystery woman was a "true friend" of the Princess (later Queen) Mary, Henry's daughter by Catherine of Aragon. Though no one knows who "the king's damsel" really was, here Kate Emerson presents her as young gentlewoman Thomasine Lodge, a lady-in-waiting to King Henry's daughter, Princess Mary.

Thomasine becomes the Princess's confidante, especially as Henry's marriage to Catherine dissolves and tensions run high. When the king procures a divorce in order to marry Anne Boleyn, who is suspicious and distrustful of Mary, Mary has Thomasine placed in Anne's service to be her eyes and ears. And that's when she gets the attention of the king...

Rich in historical detail and featuring a wealth of bonus material, The King's Damsel is sure to keep readers coming back for more in the exciting series!

Review: The King’s Damsel is a rich story set during King Henry the Eighth’s reign. It follows the story of Tamsin a lady in waiting to Princess Mary. Tamsin is forced into the difficult choice of leaving behind Princess Mary and going to serve Ann Boleyn, King Henry’s new mistress, and the woman who created tension between Mary’s father and mother Catherine. The King’s Damsel was the first novel that I’ve read by Kate Emerson. I enjoyed the overall story and the drama that builds between the characters within the book. I love the show Tudors and I love reading about the Tudor court, so I really was excited at the opportunity to read Emerson’s book. Emerson did not disappoint, the story kept me engaged and I really felt myself immersed into Tamsin’s world. I think the thing that kept bugging me about the story was Tamsin’s guardian Sir Daggett. I wanted to slap him, but I guess that’s a good reaction considering he’s not supposed to be a good character. Overall, I loved that this story (although fiction) was based off of a letter from a real person (Spanish Ambassador Eustace Chapuys). It really shows how creative Emerson was with this story, although she kept a very real element to the novel. I definitely plan on checking out the rest of this series because I’ve heard great things about it.

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