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The King's Damsel by Kate Emerson

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The King's Damsel (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #5)

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!

Goodreads Summary

This is the first book of the Secrets of the Tudor Court series and it was very enjoyable. It’s set in the year 1525 when the main character, Tamsin, is 13 years old. Tragedy strikes when her father and brother die. She thinks her inheritance will help her through hard times, but it turns out she was bought by an awful pig of a man, Sir Lionel. He uses her to his advantage by making her the right hand lady to Princess Mary, daughter of King Henry VIII. While at the palace, she gains a love interest with an attractive apprentice to a silkwoman named Rafe. He is lower class, but it doesn’t matter to her. They’re so cute together!
The relationship between Princess Mary and Tamsin is very sweet. You would think a Princess would be demeaning to the people “below” them, but she’s actually very kind and generous to Tamsin. Her generosity makes Tamsin want to do things for her… like spy on the Queen. It’s a risky job, but worth it for the friendship between both of them. There were one or two parts where it got slow and I skimmed some pages, but otherwise it’s a nice pace. The ending could have been written a little more in depth and slower. It was very abrupt and made me go “wait… what just happened?” The characters were written as strong individuals, not your typical passive aggressive women in the 1500’s. Tamsin had a voice and used it, which made me get into the character more. All around a nice quick read and I’ll definitely get my hands on another.
3 1/2 Stars

*Reviewed by Rachel*

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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Ohhhh, I really want to read this book. I love The Tudors era and I devour everything that has something to do with it :p Great review!

  1. Unknown said...:

    I'm not sure this is a book for me but appreciate your thoughts. I do like the cover:) Thanks!

  1. Susan T. said...:

    I love anything to do with the Tudors so this looks great!