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Maid of the King's Court by Lucy…

Maid of the King's Court

by Lucy Worsley

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a fun middle-grade historical romp. Eliza is a likeable main character - she's independent and smart, but not unbelievably so for the time period, and has to work hard to navigate social constraints.

My biggest complaint is the ending - everything is wrapped up very quickly and not really in a satisfying way. Throughout the book, Eliza bears with her duty and perseveres because she knows she has to save her family's ancestral home, Stoneton. For that reason, she needs to find a rich husband at court - and her bastard page friend, Ned, won't do, since he won't inherit anything. By the end of the book, Eliza seems to cast away any thoughts of duty, and Stoneton is forgotten. Nothing changes - she just all of a sudden decides that it's okay if nothing she's been aiming for for the past five plus years ends up happening. Couldn't she have met somebody different? Couldn't Ned's letter declaring his love (which isn't anything new?) also have included the news that he's suddenly in line to inherit? It seems out of character and a little too tidy. It's romantic - and certainly what the reader wants to happen - but not really logical.

The book also ends very quickly after Katherine Howard's death. I understand that Eliza serves more as a vehicle to tell Katherine's story (as Worsley mentions in her author's note), but it would be nice to give her a more complete ending than the ~10 short pages we got that tied everything up nicely in a bow.

Overall, the book is fun and fast-paced, with a disappointing ending. Recommended to fans of Michaela MacColl and Carolyn Meyer. ( )
  curioussquared | Jun 9, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This YA historical novel centers around Katherine Howard’s arrival at the royal court of King Henry VIII, as told from the perspective of a fictional cousin, Eliza Rose Camperdowne. Teenage Eliza chronicles how the girls are groomed in order to make an advantageous marriage at court, and perhaps even claim the dubious honour of becoming Henry’s mistress. Worsley’s background as a royal historian means that the setting is accurate and rich, and the machinations of the nobility are laid out in detail. A few of the facts and characters are fudged for the story, but overall the time period is expertly captured. Eliza is a believable character, torn between following her own heart and the pressure of elevating her family out of ruin. Along the way she discovers the power of her sexuality, and observes how her cousin uses the same power to become queen. While not totally explicit, this book does not shy away from mature topics like sex and death, so it’s definitely meant for readers who are prepared for that.
  Bitter_Grace | May 30, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is an historical fiction book meant for young adult readers. I start with that because I have read some complaints about the writing or implausibility of the love interest. I think it is important to remember the target audience and getting them interested in history. That being said, adults who are fans of stories about the Tudors will find this an interesting perspective. I liked learning about court and Katherine from a cousin who is learning her place in the world. Yes, Eliza is immature, but that is to be expected in a young girl brought up to expect great things of herself and who has been taught her own importance. We get to watch Eliza grow and change as she develops more awareness of the world and herself.

This was an easy to read book about life in the Tudor court. It could have had a little more depth, but it was still a good novel to read. The story flowed well, and I am looking forward to reading the author's historical works. I liked that you could tell the author had done plenty of research, and still made an interesting tale for young readers.

I think fans of Tudor historical fiction will want to read this and introduce young readers to the topic with this book. ( )
  BittyCornwell | May 2, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Eliza Camperdowne is eventually sent to be a Maid at the court of King Henry the VIII and is also a cousin to the 5th wife, Katherine Howard. This is a delightful story of a behind the scenes life of royalty and those who are touched by it. What makes this story exceptional, is that it is so well written that you turn page after page until you are surprised to find yourself at the end. This would have taken me far less than 2 days to read if I didn't have other duties to attend to. I am not familiar with the author Lucy Worsley, but I am certainly a huge fan of hers now. I will be looking forward to other works of Ms. Worsley in the future. I don't want to give away any of the story but you just need to know that anyone who enjoys books on this topic will certainly enjoy this one as well! I highly recommend it! If the story line was more complex than I would have rated it higher. ( )
  Sparkle64 | Apr 21, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a YA book, with a fictional main character, Eliza, who was meant to be a cousin to Henry VIII’s 5th wife, Katherine Howard. Eliza is sent away at 12-years old, after a marriage proposal doesn’t work out, basically to learn to be a courtier. She and her cousin, Katherine, are later sent to Henry VIII’s court to be ladies to Anne of Cleves, Henry’s 4th wife.

I quite enjoyed this story! It was quick to read, and somewhat simple and easy to read, but then it’s YA, so that’s to be expected. I thought it was an interesting take on why Katherine did what she did (though I still didn’t particularly like her!). ( )
  LibraryCin | Apr 19, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763688061, Hardcover)

In the vibrant, volatile court of Henry VIII, can even the most willful young woman direct her own fate and follow her heart in a world ruled by powerful men?

Clever, headstrong Elizabeth Rose Camperdowne knows her duty. As the sole heiress to an old but impoverished noble family, Eliza must marry a man of wealth and title — it’s the only fate for a girl of her standing. But when a surprising turn of events lands her in the royal court as a maid of honor to Anne of Cleves, Eliza is drawn into the dizzying, dangerous orbit of Henry the Eighth and struggles to distinguish friend from foe. Is her glamorous flirt of a cousin, Katherine Howard, an ally in this deceptive place, or is she Eliza’s worst enemy? And then there’s Ned Barsby, the king’s handsome page, who is entirely unsuitable for Eliza but impossible to ignore. British historian Lucy Worsley provides a vivid, romantic glimpse of the treachery, tragedy, and thrills of life in the Tudor court.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 06 Mar 2017 18:48:00 -0500)

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