Titl: The Queen’s Lady
Series: Thornleigh, #1
Author: Barbara Kyle
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Kensington Books
Release Date: September 1st, 1994
Length: 500 pages | 21 hours, 21 minutes
Abducted as a child-heiress, Honor Larke escapes to London seeking justice from the only lawyer she knows: the brilliant Sir Thomas More. With More as her affectionate guardian, Honor grows to womanhood, when the glitter of the royal court lures her 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 sure she’s playing it well—until she’s proved wrong. Richard Thornleigh may cut a dashing figure at court, but Honor isn’t taken in by his reckless charm. Only later does Honor realize that Richard has awakened something within her—and that he, too, has something to hide.
For the King’s actions are merely one knot in a twisted web that stretches across Europe, ensnaring everyone from the lowliest of peasants to the most powerful of nobles. Swept away in a tide of intrigue and danger, the Queen’s lady is about to learn everything: about pride, passion, greed—and the conscience of the King.
The Queen’s Lady is a lovely historical fiction, featuring a fierce (passionate, but also realistically flawed) heroine in early 1500s England. Although the story of Henry VIII and his many wives has been done to death, I found the focus of this story on the religious wars and figures like Sit Thomas More, Cromwell, and Erasmus to be fascinating.
Several times, I found myself mentally yelling at Honor for seeing what she wants to, instead of what’s real- but her story arc is also developed along those lines, so when she came to her understanding I was cheering for her. Richard is dreamy, although he has his temper and limits, which made him feel more like a realistic man than a plot device.
I’m not sure if any of the exploits are unrealistic, but they didn’t feel unrealistic while reading them. My suspension of disbelief was firmly in place, as the action of the plot kept me too engage to question whether things like this ever happened in the 1500s. And that’s a feat, because I am a doubter by nature.
I highly recommend this one to fans of historic fiction, Tudor England, the religious wars of England and Europe (although it’s a brutal, gritty, disturbing thing to read), fierce female protagonists, and stories with lovely romance in them (when the story isn’t solely about the romance).
I’m a coffee-fueled, hobby-addicted bibliophage who makes cruelty-free mineral eye shadows (inspired by novels). I’m usually in front of a screen (writing, reading, or gaming), but I’ve been known to emerge for geekery, good food, and dark chocolate.