I really enjoyed this novel, possibly as much as I did The Other Boleyn Girl. The constant changing of perspectives had the potential to be confusing, however, Gregory made it work brilliantly, and the story is well-paced. The only downside that I can think of is that it was, at times, a little repetitive.
It was invigorating to read Anne of Cleves as an intelligent young woman who drew the short-straw when she was selected by Henry Tudor as his fourth wife, but then grabbed the opportunity for independence when it was presented to her.
It is amusing yet sad to think of Katherine Howard as a clueless, silly girl too young to be a wife, who thought it would be fun to be married to a King old enough to be her grandfather, yet who paid the highest price for her family's ongoing quest for power.
It is also very intriguing to read a perspective of Jane Boleyn. Desperate, selfish and slightly insane Jane, whose greed sent her husband George and sister-in-law Anne to the scaffold, and then many years later in a bizarre case of history repeating, Katherine Howard and herself followed in their footsteps.
As a historian, Philippa Gregory writes brilliant historical fiction, and I recommend her Tudor fiction novels to anyone who likes a good read, and especially to those into hist-fic. Her novels are thick, but so very easy to read.
Anyone who knows me would know that I love, love, love books. At every opportunity I am reading, so I have decided to dedicate some of my reading for the New Year to a couple very interesting online reading challenges that I stumbled across recently.
1. The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir (non-fiction: the life and death of Henry Tudor's wives) **COMPLETED**