Friday, September 24, 2010

The King's Rose by Alisa Libby

Summary/ Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Life in the court of King Henry VIII is a complex game. When fifteen-year-old Catherine Howard catches the king’s eye, she quickly transforms from pawn to queen. But even luxury beyond imagination loses its luster as young Catherine finds her life—and her heart—threatened by the needs of an aging king and a family hungry for power. Will their agendas deliver Catherine to the same fate as her infamous cousin, Anne Boleyn—sacrificed at the altar of family ambition?
Engaging historical fiction with a throbbing YA heartbeat, this thrilling novel will draw readers into the intrigues and dangers of the Tudor court.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before in previous reviews, but I'm a huge history buff, so when it comes to historical fiction reads, I'm always up for them, epically when they involve the Tudor time period. And when I heard of The King's Rose and how it had both of those aspects, I was overjoyed, and the cover was stunning to boot. Sadly enough, this is one those times were the cover was better than the actual contents inside.

The King's Rose tells the tale of Catherine Howard, the fifth wife King Henry VIII, and the complicated life she has been dealt. You see, while Catherine is overjoyed have caught the king's eye out of all the girls at court, she's not at all up for the drama, backstabbing, and lying that's done to someone of her newly found power, but soon enough she's rushed into it all, and quickly catches the eye of everyone in England. But will she ultimately fail as the king's wife? And what will happen as one of her past two secret lovers make an appearance? Only history can tell this one.

Catherine was a character I found fascinating, and I thought Alisa did a great job of capturing the feel of Catherine's past as well as her current life and the troubles she faces in it. I especially liked how she dealt with the Thomas and Henry situations in a way it didn't become too much like a soap opera. I also enjoyed how she incorporated many key players in the Tudor court into The King's Rose but I would have preferred to have seen perhaps a little more back story into each because it was easy to get them confused with one another. 
The premise of this was great because I loved learning more about Catherine's life, but the execution was a little iffy, in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, it was okay but at times it sounded like a textbook instead of capturing the full voice of this time and bringing it to life. This made it tremendously boring at times and fail in my eyes.
In all, The King's Rose was a decent and enjoyable read that quite a few redeemable qualities, but I hate say I've read better about the same topic.
Grade: C
The King's Rose is now out!

Source: 1st copy from Author. Thanks, Alisa! 2nd copy from Publicist. Thanks, Jillian!


  1. I love historical novels...I may have to give this one a try to see how I feel about it.

  2. I'm a history buff too... used to be a history major. I think the cover is gorgeous and your review was excellent! I appreciate your honesty! Now, I definitely want to read this.

  3. I really want to read this one. The tudors, I love! :) But reading it felt somethimes like a textbook is not a very good thing. Still I want to give it a try. Thanks for the great review.

  4. I like historicals but I don't really like the Tudors. I'm still on the fence on this one.


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