The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory


“Why would a woman marry a serial killer? Because she cannot refuse…

Kateryn Parr has no choice when Henry VIII – a man who has buried four wives – commands her to marry him.

As a young widow with a secret lover, Kateryn knows full well the danger she faces. But Henry adores his new bride and her trust in him grows as she unites the royal family, creates a radical study circle at the heart of the court, and rules the kingdom as regent.

But is this enough to keep her safe? An independent woman with a mind of her own, and the first woman to publish under her own name in English, Kateryn is an easy target for those who accuse her of heresy. The punishment is death by fire and the king’s name is on the warrant.”

This was a great story of the Tudor queen who we perhaps hear the least about. I am rather passionate about the Tudors and I found it extremely interesting to find out more about Kateryn Parr through this work of fiction as most of the novels regarding Henry VIII’s wives concern Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour.

The writing style in ‘The Taming of the Queen’ was elegant and stylish although not over complicated; in other words it was a dream to read. I loved the depth and complexity of all the characters. Henry VIII was notoriously a very changeable man, able to control his court by playing the different factions against each other whilst maintaining his powerful position as head of the kingdom and of the church.

The romance between Henry and Kateryn was an intriguing one as whilst Kate was extremely cautious and hesitant, at first Henry seemed entirely devoted to her, allowing her anything she wished and even letting her rule as regent – the only wife to do that apart from Catherine of Aragon. He showed himself to be a kind loving husband and saw his previous failed marriages as tragedies that could not have been avoided. I actually started to feel for the old king!

However, what I loved the most however was the way Henry’s attitude changed towards her. It was written extremely well; the growing tension was tangible as Kate thought she would be deemed a heretic and arrested. I think that Philippa Gregory has excellently portrayed Henry’s character, especially at the end when he revealed his cruel intentions for keeping his wife in line.

The book lead me on an emotional roller-coaster as my feelings for the different characters constantly changed as they showed different sides to their personalities. I did feel that the book repeated itself a little, however that did help with the portrayal of Henry’s changeable nature as it demonstrated the circles the court went in in order to please him!

I would recommend this if you have the slightest interest in the Tudors. It was a lovely novel to read and also shed some light on another interesting Queen – another remarkable woman.

4/5 rating.


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An aspiring cellist, I absolutely adore reading, and even if it means squeezing it into the cracks of my busy life I am still determined to read more! For me, a truly great novel isn't just flashy with a fast paced plot and glossy characters, it is good literature that traps you with every word and entices you to read on. I write quick-to-read book reviews on CreativeThoughtBubble, as well as occasionally publishing short stories of my own.

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