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The Queen's Lady by Barbara Kyle

The Queen's Lady (original 1994; edition 2008)

by Barbara Kyle

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141785,024 (3.58)3
Title:The Queen's Lady
Authors:Barbara Kyle
Info:Kensington (2008), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 500 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Queen's Lady by Barbara Kyle (1994)



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I enjoyed this book. I loved all the secretive stuff going on and the interactions between Honor and Thornleigh. It was great to see a woman in Tudor times fighting for something she believes in. I highly recommend it! ( )
  Desilu42 | Aug 1, 2013 |
This was such a phenomenal book. I can't say enough good about it. It was completely (to my knowledge) historically accurate, it was entertaining, it was intriguing, enthralling, infuriating. I nearly through this book through a window at about the 4/5 mark, and it remained there for three days while I fumed. Any book that can elicit that kind of violent physical reaction and still be so loved deserves a maxed out 5 stars! ( )
  frozenplums | May 3, 2013 |
Beautifully written and thoroughly researched, The Queen's Lady provides the reader with great insight into the major figures and events of Tudor England. I was amazed at Barbara Kyle's proficiency in the use of language and detail that made this story jump off the page. An enjoyable story and a job well done.
Patti Sheehy, author
The Boy Who Said No: An Escape to Freedom
To be released by Oceanview Publishing June 4, 2013 ( )
  pattisheehy | Mar 4, 2013 |
Where I got the book: freebie at the HNS conference in London this year. Signed.

Plot: Pay attention, Dear Reader. The blurb is not a bit like the book I read. Here's how I see it: As a young child, Honor Larke watches her father die excommunicated and robbed by the evil priest Bastwick. She is taken away by a nasty nobleman (name irrelevant as I don't think he has much to do with the rest of the book) to be married to his son for her fortune. Years later, with the help of a faithful servant, she finds herself free of her marriage and the ward of Sir Thomas More, becoming an educated woman who is suited to be a lady in waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon. Seeing her old servant burned at the stake as a heretic turns Honor against the church and she becomes a kind of double agent, eventually gaining the assistance of handsome merchant Richard Thornleigh. Her passion for rescuing Protestants burns brighter once she discovers the depth of Thomas More's involvement, but her hatred does not outlast More's own death. Bastwick, meanwhile, has become close to the King, and Honor finds that she and Thornleigh are in very great danger.

Actually, it's a lot more complicated than that. I expected a more straightforward romance-type novel; what I got was a twisting saga of a plot with plenty of surprises hiding around the corner. The writing is strong and vivid, more Ken Follett than Philippa Gregory, and I liked Honor despite her inability to remain constant to any kind of belief (More, for all his faults, stuck to his guns). It was quite a surprising view of the sainted More, too. Could I really imagine Saint More in the grip of lust?

I thoroughly enjoyed all the twists and the way Kyle wove the Honor/Thornleigh story into the history, with a refreshing lack of sugar-coating and some great action scenes. Plenty of historical detail, too; there were a few places where the language seemed slightly too modern, but on the whole I was right there in the 1500s.

The only things I didn't like were some of the transitions, where we seemed to jump too abruptly into the next phase of Honor's life, and the two-dimensional portrayal of Henry, Catherine and Anne. They play a minor role in the action, so to speak, but they didn't come across as real to me, whereas More, for example, was a complex, fully realized character, fitting beautifully into the plot.

Final verdict: a most enjoyable read, and I will continue with this series. This appears to have been Kyle's debut novel, first published in the 1990s, but the Tudor wave seems to be riding high still and Kyle gives us some pretty solid fuel to feed the addiction. ( )
  JaneSteen | Dec 5, 2012 |
I admit I wasn't sure what to think before I picked up Barbara Kyle's The Queen's Lady. I had seen this book and others in the Thornleigh series at the bookstore a number of times, but something about the lackluster reviews and somewhat creepy/cheesy cover put me off. Then I found it on super-clearance at Half Price Books during their 20 percent off everything sale, so, on a whim, I decided to pick it up.

The Queen's Lady explores the turmoil of the Tudor court through the eyes of young Honor Larke, the ward of Sir Thomas Moore. Honor finds herself a young innocent at court, and soon agent to Queen Catherine of Aragon. But having such an alliance can be deadly, as intrigues in the Tudor Court heat up thanks to a woman who has stolen the king's affections named Anne Boleyn. As Henry pushes for an annulment so he can marry Anne, Honor's loyalties are tested, and her position at court is put into question.

The Thornleigh world ended up have much more to it than I thought it would. Though, I admit, this wasn't the best Tudor historical fiction novel I've ever read, it was still decent. If you're looking for an easy read set in the period that has good research while waiting for the next big Tudor/historical novel, Queen's Lady satisfies. It's a fairly well written, easy to read novel steeped in romance with a dash of intrigue and just enough history for it to make sense.

Though the story is one I've read or heard a thousand times, Kyle does a decent job of approaching it from a different perspective, and working with different characters and historical figures that many authors would. However, the plot is predictable (especially the historically accurate parts), the characters are easy to figure out and the writing is fairly average.

Despite all of this mediocrity, I enjoyed Queen's Lady. It was a good book for just turning your brain off and letting yourself indulge in something that's easy. I would read the other books in the series if I found them on clearance again or at the library, but I wouldn't pay full price for them. All in all, a decent read that's good when you need to turn off your brain, but a library find. ( )
  BookAddictDiary | Apr 4, 2011 |
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Originally published as A Dangerous Temptation.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 075822544X, Paperback)

London, 1527. Marry or serve: for Honor Larke, the choice is clear. Unwilling to perish of boredom as an obedient wife, she leaves the home of her ward to attend Her Majesty, Queen Catherine of Aragon. But life at Henry VIII's court holds more than artifice for an intelligent observer, and Honor knows how to watch-and when to act . . . Angered by the humiliation heaped upon her mistress as Henry cavorts with Anne Boleyn and presses Rome for a divorce, Honor volunteers to carry letters to the Queen's allies. It's a risky game, but Honor is confident-until she's proven wrong by dashing courtier Richard Thornleigh-a man who awakens her heart, and who also has something to hide . . . Swept into a tide of intrigue and danger that stretches across Europe, the Queen's lady is about to learn everything: about pride, passion, greed-and the conscience of the King . . . "Weaves a fast-paced plot through some of the most harrowing years of English history". -Judith Merkle Riley"Excellent, exciting, compellingly readable". -Ellen Jones"Riveting, heady, glorious, inspired". -Susan Wiggs Includes a Reading Group Guide!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:14 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Born just as the violent overthrow of the Catholic Church begins in 1527 Tudor England, Honor Larke is alternately pulled and pushed by her conscience: she wants to save heretics from burning, but desires to see her once beloved guardian, Thomas More, punished for his reforming ways. Meanwhile, Erasmus, Catherine of Aragon, Henry Tudor, Anne Boleyn and More himself charm, pummel and sweep their way through history. Fully grown, Honor meets and employs Thomas Thornleigh, a merchant and courtier who she vastly misjudges, at first. Firsthand experience with the horrors of persecution on both sides forces Honor into an unusual decision of where to put her faith.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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