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The fourth of Jean Plaidy's Tudor novels in which Henry VIII secretly plots his divorce from Katherine of Aragon. After twelve years of marriage, the once fortuitous union of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon has declined into a loveless stalemate.Their only child, Mary, is disregarded as a suitable heir, and Henry's need for a legitimate son to protect the Tudor throne ha The fourth of Jean Plaidy's Tudor novels in which Henry VIII secretly plots his divorce from Katherine of Aragon. After twelve years of marriage, the once fortuitous union of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon has declined into a loveless stalemate.Their only child, Mary, is disregarded as a suitable heir, and Henry's need for a legitimate son to protect the Tudor throne has turned him into a callous and greatly feared ruler. When the young and intriguing Anne Boleyn arrives from the French court, Henry is easily captivated by her dark beauty and bold spirit.But his desire to possess the wily girl leads to a deadly struggle of power that promises to tear apart the lives of Katharine and Mary, and forever change England's faith...


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The fourth of Jean Plaidy's Tudor novels in which Henry VIII secretly plots his divorce from Katherine of Aragon. After twelve years of marriage, the once fortuitous union of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon has declined into a loveless stalemate.Their only child, Mary, is disregarded as a suitable heir, and Henry's need for a legitimate son to protect the Tudor throne ha The fourth of Jean Plaidy's Tudor novels in which Henry VIII secretly plots his divorce from Katherine of Aragon. After twelve years of marriage, the once fortuitous union of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon has declined into a loveless stalemate.Their only child, Mary, is disregarded as a suitable heir, and Henry's need for a legitimate son to protect the Tudor throne has turned him into a callous and greatly feared ruler. When the young and intriguing Anne Boleyn arrives from the French court, Henry is easily captivated by her dark beauty and bold spirit.But his desire to possess the wily girl leads to a deadly struggle of power that promises to tear apart the lives of Katharine and Mary, and forever change England's faith...

30 review for The King's Secret Matter

  1. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    I have been collecting Jean Plaidy novels for more than 10 years. I read her Norman Trilogy years ago and loved it....so I started on a mission to collect every historical novel she wrote. At the time, her books were pretty much out of print...and hard to find. Several have been released in new editions though, so it's much easier to find her books now. I have made it part of my annual reading goals this year to focus on Jean Plaidy. I was so caught up in finding all the books that I never took I have been collecting Jean Plaidy novels for more than 10 years. I read her Norman Trilogy years ago and loved it....so I started on a mission to collect every historical novel she wrote. At the time, her books were pretty much out of print...and hard to find. Several have been released in new editions though, so it's much easier to find her books now. I have made it part of my annual reading goals this year to focus on Jean Plaidy. I was so caught up in finding all the books that I never took the time to actually read them! Silly me! I can free up almost an entire bookcase of storage space in my library if I read my Plaidy books and donate them to charity. So....getting started! I love the drama and politics of the Tudor Era...so I decided to start with Plaidy's Tudor Saga. There are 11 books in the series. The King's Secret Matter is the 4th book (the last in a trilogy about Katharine of Aragon, Henry VIIIs first wife). There is a lot of political wrangling in this book. Henry wants to divorce his wife and marry Anne Boleyn....and he's willing to do just about anything to accomplish that goal. We all know the story....and its outcome. I loved reading Plaidy's version....she creates a dramatic historical fiction picture of how things played out. This isn't historical romance. Plaidy takes history and fleshes out the scenes....puts the humanity, emotion and drama into it. No sex....just intrigue, politics and power plays. I am loving the Tudor Saga so far! So much plotting, disappointment, and intrigue. This book really gave insight into Henry's personality changes....he became obsessed with having a male heir, he made rash, emotional, violent decisions. He really is larger than life and, for me, one of the most interesting English monarchs to study....but he was a terrible king. Paranoid. Mentally unbalanced. Obsessed. Impulsive. I can't imagine the stress, fear and strain that his wives endured. Makes it such an interesting era in history to read about. I'm glad I'm finally reading my Plaidy books! Excellent novels! Jean Plaidy is only one of many pen-names used by author Eleanor Hibbert. Another of her pseudonyms that many readers might recognize is Victoria Holt. Plaidy was the name she used when writing historical fiction. She used Victoria Holt for romantic suspense novels. She also wrote as Philippa Carr and several other pseudonyms. Quite the prolific writer! On to the next book -- Murder Most Royal!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Iset

    This is the second book of Eleanor Hibbert’s, aka Jean Plaidy, that I’ve tried, and I have to say, I stop here. The King’s Secret Matter is just the same as The Shadow of the Pomegranate, there’s no change in style or quality. Plaidy’s historical fiction novels seem to be characterised by incredibly dry, unimaginative, dull writing that add nothing to the genre. Historical events are vastly oversimplified or skipped over entirely. Historical personages are reduced to one-dimensional stock carica This is the second book of Eleanor Hibbert’s, aka Jean Plaidy, that I’ve tried, and I have to say, I stop here. The King’s Secret Matter is just the same as The Shadow of the Pomegranate, there’s no change in style or quality. Plaidy’s historical fiction novels seem to be characterised by incredibly dry, unimaginative, dull writing that add nothing to the genre. Historical events are vastly oversimplified or skipped over entirely. Historical personages are reduced to one-dimensional stock caricatures. The book is peppered with obvious and immensely boring info dumps, and the writing is just overall flat and sleep-inducing. There’s no attempt at any depth or sophistication, there’s nothing that grabs my interest here, it just feels grey and devoid of spark or life. I’ve read far worse, for sure, I’ll give Plaidy that – but at least some of those truly terrible books held my attention by being so bad that they were absurdly funny. Plaidy’s novels are about as enjoyable as eating shredded cardboard instead of cereal in your morning milk – and they’re far from memorable. They provide only the absolute basics of events – if this hadn’t been published in 1962, I’d almost think that Plaidy had spent ten minutes on Wikipedia in research time, maximum, before sitting down and churning out a manuscript in a day or two, her works are really that sketchy and loose, offering only the basic facts, regurgitated as simplistic narrative but offering nothing more. It just doesn’t have life or imagination at all, and what little story it has is thinly sketched at best. I’m done with Jean Plaidy as an author. Again, nothing against the late author personally, and I have definitely read far worse, but I just find Plaidy’s writing so dull and lifeless, I’m not motivated to ever pick up one of her books again. I gave it two books to draw me in, and I'm finished - Plaidy's just not my cup of tea. 3 out of 10.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Philippa

    An easy read, and an enjoyable way to learn about the history of the time. The author brings the characters alive although sometimes I'd have liked more depth to them, and to the lifestyles of the time. Ends rather abruptly but presumably the story is picked up in the next book in the series. I picked this up from the Lilliput library and it's the only book in the series I've read. An easy read, and an enjoyable way to learn about the history of the time. The author brings the characters alive although sometimes I'd have liked more depth to them, and to the lifestyles of the time. Ends rather abruptly but presumably the story is picked up in the next book in the series. I picked this up from the Lilliput library and it's the only book in the series I've read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Angela Joyce

    Ms. Plaidy is (was) so good at weaving facts into a strong, cohesive story without embroidering too much. I do, however, wish she had not used the word "plump" so often in this one. For the first half of the book, I believe the word appeared on every other page, basically whenever discussing the face or fingers of King Henry or the bosom of one of his mistresses. Good gosh, had she never heard of "pudgy", "chubby", "full", "ample", etc.? Besides, when we've been told once about these characters' Ms. Plaidy is (was) so good at weaving facts into a strong, cohesive story without embroidering too much. I do, however, wish she had not used the word "plump" so often in this one. For the first half of the book, I believe the word appeared on every other page, basically whenever discussing the face or fingers of King Henry or the bosom of one of his mistresses. Good gosh, had she never heard of "pudgy", "chubby", "full", "ample", etc.? Besides, when we've been told once about these characters' larger-than-average body parts, it's really enough... but this is turning into a nitpicky ramble... Anyway, it's a decent read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Phil Syphe

    I liked this fourth Tudor book more than the first two, but not as much as the third. The pace often drags, and little action occurs. Cardinal Wolsey is the most vivid of the characters. The author also does a good job of making me feel sympathy for the cardinal when his power starts to wane. The further he drops in status, the more I sympathise, despite his former arrogance. The Tudor series is not a string of novels written one after the other; they were written at different stages during Plaidy I liked this fourth Tudor book more than the first two, but not as much as the third. The pace often drags, and little action occurs. Cardinal Wolsey is the most vivid of the characters. The author also does a good job of making me feel sympathy for the cardinal when his power starts to wane. The further he drops in status, the more I sympathise, despite his former arrogance. The Tudor series is not a string of novels written one after the other; they were written at different stages during Plaidy’s life. The first book was the last to be written. This subsequent three are a continuation of the Daughters of Spain series. As with all Plaidy novels, “The King’s Secret Matter” features a lot of repeated info and dry facts. The main reason why her works are so dry is because there’s far too much *telling*, as opposed to *showing*. The reader is often told what happened in a few sentences, when the author could’ve dramatized scenes to show what happened. Something else Plaidy’s guilty of is her continuous use of the passive voice. In this novel we’re told that: “At the door of the Palace stood the Queen holding the hand of her daughter,” as opposed to the active voice: “The queen stood holding her daughter’s hand at the place door.” Passive voice = passive prose. Another annoying trait this author has is writing with hindsight. Her characters say prophetic things, which is too unrealistic, or they wish for things – repeatedly – until they either get their wish or die trying. For example, Katherine of Aragon won’t allow her devotees to bad-mouth Anne Boleyn, as Katherine is convinced that Anne’s fortunes will turn sour. At one point when Katherine alludes to Anne’s uncertain future, “her women looked after her in wonderment. Then they shivered, for she spoke with the voice of a prophet.” The future was unknown for these people as it is for us, but in these stories they have premonitions, which I can’t believe the real people these characters are based on would ever have, such as Katherine prophesising her own death: “some premonition told her that her end was near.” It’s all down to the author writing with hindsight, which I find very irritating. Something about Jean Plaidy’s books keep me coming back for more. Perhaps it’s her obvious love for English history, which I share, that draws me back. I wish she’d focused less on turning out as greater quantity of novels as possible and concentrated more on quality writing. “The King’s Secret Matter” has some good moments, and I liked more than I disliked, but it would’ve benefited from ten or more redrafts, followed by a meticulous inspection by a copy-editor.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    Depending on the order that you read the novels, this was the third book on the Katharine of Aragon series. I actually really enjoyed it! Plaidey has been rather hit or miss for me in regard to her novels, but I found this one to be well written and interesting. It was primarily told from the perspectives of Katharine and Cardinal Wolsey. Though Anne Boylen was referenced and referred to at times, she was not a key character in the story itself, which was a change from other novels I’ve read. Us Depending on the order that you read the novels, this was the third book on the Katharine of Aragon series. I actually really enjoyed it! Plaidey has been rather hit or miss for me in regard to her novels, but I found this one to be well written and interesting. It was primarily told from the perspectives of Katharine and Cardinal Wolsey. Though Anne Boylen was referenced and referred to at times, she was not a key character in the story itself, which was a change from other novels I’ve read. Usually she is the lead character trying to win the crown while Katharine is the secondary character. It was very interesting to see it in reverse, and how Katharine was reacting to what was going on around her, trying to protect and secure her daughter’s future. One of my biggest complaints about Plaidey is that she tends to be repetitive with a specific word or phrase to the point of it being incredibly annoying, but I actually did not notice it at all in this novel! It was really a great ending to the trilogy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gill

    For half of this novel I would have awarded it 3 stars. I enjoyed it, but having read a lot of historical fiction about the Tudor period previously it was not setting me alight. However by the end the character of Queen Katherine is so well-drawn and the writing so good, that I had to give it four stars. Unusually this novel also draws other characters more fully than I have previously encountered, and one has sympathy for Wolsey and for others encountered during the story, so it seemed more bal For half of this novel I would have awarded it 3 stars. I enjoyed it, but having read a lot of historical fiction about the Tudor period previously it was not setting me alight. However by the end the character of Queen Katherine is so well-drawn and the writing so good, that I had to give it four stars. Unusually this novel also draws other characters more fully than I have previously encountered, and one has sympathy for Wolsey and for others encountered during the story, so it seemed more balanced and unbiased than many Tudor novels are. It seems that Jean Plaidy has researched a few well-known women extremely thoroughly, and I shall look out for other titles by her when I am next in the library.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sue Law

    The third book in the tale of Katherine of Aragon. Henry VIII is desperate for a son and his middle aged wife is obviously not going to produce one. Stimulated by the refusal of Anne Boleyn to succumb to his advances outside of marriage, he starts wondering whether this lack of healthy offspring is due to God's displeasure with his marriage to his brother's bride. Unaware of Anne's role, Wolsey encourages plans for annulment or divorce and thus starts the chain of events leading to the disgrace The third book in the tale of Katherine of Aragon. Henry VIII is desperate for a son and his middle aged wife is obviously not going to produce one. Stimulated by the refusal of Anne Boleyn to succumb to his advances outside of marriage, he starts wondering whether this lack of healthy offspring is due to God's displeasure with his marriage to his brother's bride. Unaware of Anne's role, Wolsey encourages plans for annulment or divorce and thus starts the chain of events leading to the disgrace of Wolsey, the deaths of many intellectual leaders of Henry's early reign and the breach with Rome. Through it all Katherine struggles to maintain her position and her dignity.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Briana

    An easy read and is enjoyable. I would of liked a little more depth with the characters and a little bit more action. This book and the others end rather abruptly but I've read the next book in the series and the story is continued just in the point of view of Anne Boleyn. If you like historical fiction based on this time period you'll like Jean Plaidy. An easy read and is enjoyable. I would of liked a little more depth with the characters and a little bit more action. This book and the others end rather abruptly but I've read the next book in the series and the story is continued just in the point of view of Anne Boleyn. If you like historical fiction based on this time period you'll like Jean Plaidy.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    A tribute to the noble Katherine of Aragon, who refused to declare her marriage to King Henry VIII invalid. A Queen by every right and with absolute dignity.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rosie Lee

    Read the Tudor saga at school and re-reading them all again

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kitten

    Popsugar 2020: A book set in a city that has hosted the Olympics.

  13. 4 out of 5

    June Louise

    "She still could not believe that the gay young husband who had married her in the days of her humiliation was in truth the brutal murderer of good men. She still clung to the belief that it was those about him who urged him to these deeds. Now she feigned to believe it was Anne Boleyn, as once she had believed it was Wolsey. Yet in her heart she knew that he was all-powerful; more so than ever now that he had cut himself off from the Pope. John Fisher! she sighed. Thomas More! My dear friends... "She still could not believe that the gay young husband who had married her in the days of her humiliation was in truth the brutal murderer of good men. She still clung to the belief that it was those about him who urged him to these deeds. Now she feigned to believe it was Anne Boleyn, as once she had believed it was Wolsey. Yet in her heart she knew that he was all-powerful; more so than ever now that he had cut himself off from the Pope. John Fisher! she sighed. Thomas More! My dear friends.....and the King's! How could he murder two such men? But she knew. And she wondered: Who will be next? She was very fearful for her daughter.....and herself." Ooooooh that nasty awful Henry VIII!! And that dreadful Cardinal Wolsey - who lived in even more luxury than the monarch. Henry's life revolved around women, obtaining sons, and being cruel to his lovely wife, Katharine of Aragon; whilst Wolsey took advantage of Henry's lack of focus on state matters to form allegiances with countries - sometimes behind Henry's back. The King's Secret Matter is the seemingly endless fight that Henry puts up to confirm that he and Katharine were never truly married; he needs to prove the marriage's invalidity so he can marry the lustrous and flirty Anne Boleyn. There are court sittings, personal battles between King and Queen Katharine, executions of those who don't agree with the King, and a break away from the Catholic church. Add onto that Henry banishing Katharine to a series of unhealthy living abodes and denying her visits to/from her daughter Mary, and you have a very sad and tragic picture of the lifestyle of poor Katharine as she lives out her final days. A great book - easy to read and a page-turner into the bargain. If you like history-of-the-monarchy novels, I would recommend Jean Plaidy's books. They do not disappoint.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Helene Harrison

    Review - This book was particularly interesting because it was quite good to see the juxtaposition of Anne Boleyn and Katherine of Aragon, and the differences in how they interacted with Henry VIII. This is what Jean Plaidy is good at - showing the similarities and differences in characters and how they interact with each other. It was also interesting for me personally because I've read a lot around the divorce, and it was eye-opening to see how fiction writers see the great matter. Many people Review - This book was particularly interesting because it was quite good to see the juxtaposition of Anne Boleyn and Katherine of Aragon, and the differences in how they interacted with Henry VIII. This is what Jean Plaidy is good at - showing the similarities and differences in characters and how they interact with each other. It was also interesting for me personally because I've read a lot around the divorce, and it was eye-opening to see how fiction writers see the great matter. Many people know of the divorce but this is the first book I know of that deals with it as an individual matter, instead of as a larger whole. A great effort. Genre? - Historical / Drama / Romance Characters? - Henry VIII / Katherine of Aragon / Anne Boleyn / Thomas Wolsey / Thomas Cromwell / Thomas More / Charles Brandon Duke of Suffolk / Francis I / Charles V / Thomas Boleyn / George Boleyn / Henry Norris / William Brereton / Mark Smeaton / Elizabeth Boleyn / Mary I / Elizabeth I Setting? - London (England) Series? - Tudor Saga #4 Recommend? - Maybe Rating - 15/20

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I give this 3.5 stars, because the story is a pretty interesting story and Plaidy adds some nice dramatic flair to the last chapter of Katharine of Aragon's marriage to Henry VII. But by the end of the book, I was thinking, "Please let Katharine die already so that she and I can both be done with this business." The ending dragged on way too long for my liking. The book emphasizes Katharine's point of view, so not as much time was spent on Henry's decision to split from the Catholic Church. I re I give this 3.5 stars, because the story is a pretty interesting story and Plaidy adds some nice dramatic flair to the last chapter of Katharine of Aragon's marriage to Henry VII. But by the end of the book, I was thinking, "Please let Katharine die already so that she and I can both be done with this business." The ending dragged on way too long for my liking. The book emphasizes Katharine's point of view, so not as much time was spent on Henry's decision to split from the Catholic Church. I recognize that this isn't a history book, but the schism between England and Rome sent shock waves through Europe at its time, and it gets just a passing mention in this novel. Overall, I enjoyed it enough that I'm going to keep reading the Tudor novels.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Amalie

    I'm not a huge fan of Jean Plaidy or of Tudor novels but I found this one I can read till the end without any trouble. Comparing with "Katharine, the Virgin Widow" I found this one better written and more interesting because we see the story from the defeated side. For anyone who've read Philippa Gregory's "The Other Boleyn Girl", in this you're given the chance to took from the opposite site. I enjoy historical novels, (which country they may be from) and and according to my knowledge,Plaidy ha I'm not a huge fan of Jean Plaidy or of Tudor novels but I found this one I can read till the end without any trouble. Comparing with "Katharine, the Virgin Widow" I found this one better written and more interesting because we see the story from the defeated side. For anyone who've read Philippa Gregory's "The Other Boleyn Girl", in this you're given the chance to took from the opposite site. I enjoy historical novels, (which country they may be from) and and according to my knowledge,Plaidy has been praised for the historical accuracy in this collection. This is a well written novel in detail and I felt like I actually took a glimpse into the Tudor court. I don't mind reading another from her Tudor Saga.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tania

    The King's Secret Matter is the heartbreaking ending to Queen Katharine's trilogy, and the 4th in the Tudor Saga series. Queen Katharine fights valiantly to retain her place in politics, and in her family. She fights not only for herself but for her daughter, and for what she believes to be God's will. She is one of the strongest figures in King Henry VIII's court, and in Tudor history. There is so much meat to this story - the battle betweeen Katharine and Anne Boleyn, and their strategies, the The King's Secret Matter is the heartbreaking ending to Queen Katharine's trilogy, and the 4th in the Tudor Saga series. Queen Katharine fights valiantly to retain her place in politics, and in her family. She fights not only for herself but for her daughter, and for what she believes to be God's will. She is one of the strongest figures in King Henry VIII's court, and in Tudor history. There is so much meat to this story - the battle betweeen Katharine and Anne Boleyn, and their strategies, the King's break with the church, all of the political intrigue, and more. It is a worthy conclusion to Queen Katharine's story.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I've read a good number of books on Anne Boleyn and yet I never tire of finding a new portrayal of her. This one was good and I love the writings of Jean Plaidy. However, I felt that she didn't entirely do justice to Anne. Her portrayal of her as a young girl was of a somewhat meek woman, eager to please her Mistress at the time (Henry Tudor's sister, Mary). The transformation from this child to the woman we all know to be vibrant, bold and haughty was not well documented. It's like suddenly one I've read a good number of books on Anne Boleyn and yet I never tire of finding a new portrayal of her. This one was good and I love the writings of Jean Plaidy. However, I felt that she didn't entirely do justice to Anne. Her portrayal of her as a young girl was of a somewhat meek woman, eager to please her Mistress at the time (Henry Tudor's sister, Mary). The transformation from this child to the woman we all know to be vibrant, bold and haughty was not well documented. It's like suddenly one day Anne woke up and realized she had a spine. Otherwise, the story flowed well and the writing, as always with Jean Plaidy, was beautifully done.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    I found this less interesting then the previous novels in this series. I was also disappointed that we never hear from Anne other than via other people. This seemed odd considering the major role she played in the events of the novel - it is almost as if Plaidy wants to channel the readers thoughts and sympathy for Katharine and Mary so chooses not to look at why Anne set out the path she did.Not my faviurite historical novel.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kell

    I’d only ever read one other novel by Jean Plaidy (The Lady in the Tower) and I loved it, but this one was a little disappointing by comparison, which is a shame, because it follows the story of Queen Katharine of Aragon as King Henry VIII tires of her and tries to divorce her. It just wasn’t as engaging as I’d hoped and I found it a little plodding with lots of repetition, and rather a slog to reach the end. The story is there, I just think it could have been handled better.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karen Galber

    King's Secret matter describes the evolution of a tyrant . Henry viii in his pursuit for a son and Anne Boleyn. He is determined to rid himself of Catherine of Aragon because he lusts after Anne Boleyn and the only way she will sleep with him is if he marries her. The book is mainly told from Catherine ' s perspective but by the end of the novel he us ready to cast Anne aside in favour of Jane Seymour King's Secret matter describes the evolution of a tyrant . Henry viii in his pursuit for a son and Anne Boleyn. He is determined to rid himself of Catherine of Aragon because he lusts after Anne Boleyn and the only way she will sleep with him is if he marries her. The book is mainly told from Catherine ' s perspective but by the end of the novel he us ready to cast Anne aside in favour of Jane Seymour

  22. 5 out of 5

    Donna Mcaleavy Ⓥ

    Loved it! I'm working my way through jean plaidys tudor saga series and have now read all three of the books in the Katherine of Aragon series I found this one just as good a read as the first two. I feel that Katherine is often a much less thought about wife of Henry VIII but these books for me brought katherine to life and I found her story a brilliant but ultimately sad one I didn't want the final book to end. Loved it! I'm working my way through jean plaidys tudor saga series and have now read all three of the books in the Katherine of Aragon series I found this one just as good a read as the first two. I feel that Katherine is often a much less thought about wife of Henry VIII but these books for me brought katherine to life and I found her story a brilliant but ultimately sad one I didn't want the final book to end.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    This is my favourite book of the Tudor series so far as it goes into so much detail about the divorce of Henry VIII and Katharine of Aragon; the King's changing temperament towards his family, council and lovers; the rise and fall of Cardinal Wolsey; and the rising of Anne Boleyn. It is written so well that, whilst I felt sorry and outraged on for both Katharine and her daughter Mary, I was also rooting for Anne. Completely absorbing. This is my favourite book of the Tudor series so far as it goes into so much detail about the divorce of Henry VIII and Katharine of Aragon; the King's changing temperament towards his family, council and lovers; the rise and fall of Cardinal Wolsey; and the rising of Anne Boleyn. It is written so well that, whilst I felt sorry and outraged on for both Katharine and her daughter Mary, I was also rooting for Anne. Completely absorbing.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Susan Massolia

    This book is about King Henry VIII "plot" to have his marriage to Katherine of Aragon dissolved by the Pope so he could marry Anne Boleyn. The Pope refused, which brought about the King's split with the Roam Catholic Church and the creation of the Church of England. For history buffs like me, this is one of the best! This book is about King Henry VIII "plot" to have his marriage to Katherine of Aragon dissolved by the Pope so he could marry Anne Boleyn. The Pope refused, which brought about the King's split with the Roam Catholic Church and the creation of the Church of England. For history buffs like me, this is one of the best!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eviee

    I love historical fiction. I really do. But this Jean Plaidy felt flat to me, especially after I read Philippa Gregory's books about the same era. Katherine of Aragon feels very one dimensional, Anne Boleyn doesn't make much of an appearance and even Wolsey feels like a shadow. Not the best read by Jean Plaidy. I love historical fiction. I really do. But this Jean Plaidy felt flat to me, especially after I read Philippa Gregory's books about the same era. Katherine of Aragon feels very one dimensional, Anne Boleyn doesn't make much of an appearance and even Wolsey feels like a shadow. Not the best read by Jean Plaidy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    I love all of Jean Plaidy's books I have read up to this point. I feel she brings historical characters to life and makes you feel as though these could be anyone or that any person could go through the same pitfalls and triumphs as the historical figures featured in each book. Worth reading. I love all of Jean Plaidy's books I have read up to this point. I feel she brings historical characters to life and makes you feel as though these could be anyone or that any person could go through the same pitfalls and triumphs as the historical figures featured in each book. Worth reading.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chrissi

    I thought this was a good follow up to the other books in the saga. I did think it needed some more focus on Anne Boleyn but perhaps this will come in the follow up book? I will be reading more from Jean Plaidy. I find her books very easy to read and very enjoyable.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I enjoy novels looking at Tudor history, and this was another--nothing special but unique in that the story wove together many viewpoints, but didn't dedicate separate chapters to separate narrators. I enjoy novels looking at Tudor history, and this was another--nothing special but unique in that the story wove together many viewpoints, but didn't dedicate separate chapters to separate narrators.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Smith

    Wonderfully detailed and well woven story of Henry VIII, Katharine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn and the years leading up to divorce and second marriage incorporating lots of casualties along the way such as Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas More and the Dissolution of the Monastries to name a few!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sara W

    Final years of Katherine of Aragon while Henry VIII is trying to divorce her in order to marry Anne Boleyn.

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