Sunday, May 23, 2010

Book Review:The Pleasure Palace (Secrets of the Tudor Court #1)

I discovered the author Kate Emerson the Tudor Lover group. Many were talking about how she brought a new style to Tudor Era Historical Fiction. Emerson mentions in an Author interview at the end of the book that she wanted to write about little known figures from a very well known period of history. She chose a French born companion of Henry the VII's children, Jane Popynocourt. This young lady was placed in the royal childrens' household to help them speak french fluently. Through the years, Jane became a trusted friend of Lady Mary Tudor, the future Queen of France and later, Lady Charles Brandon. Eventually she was a lady in waiting for Queen Katherine of Aragon. There is little more that is known about Jane from historical documents. Emerson imagined a life of Courtly politics and seduction for the young Jane Popyncourt, which is feasible for a young, poor, lady of the court during that time period.

The story was a well developed romance with some mystery mixed in and a well written look into the life at the Tudor Court for those who served the Royal Family. Emerson portrays the life of the young royal children nicely and gives you some in site to how it must of been to be raised royal during that time period. Young Jane was practically a servant at the tender age of Eight when she was brought to be a companion at the royal estate. At that young age, she learned how to work the system to become favored among those Royals who decided how comfortable a person was to live.

I enjoyed reading about prominent Tudor characters, Henry VII, Mary Tudor, Margaret Tudor, Charles Brandon, and Will Compton as children and watching them grow into the overpowering figures of History that they became. Through the eyes of Jane, you almost feel like a fly on the wall of history, watching events develop that turned into pieces of history that you read about in the Non-Fiction pieces of work.

Emerson doesn't only elaborate on people and event. She spends a great deal of time describing the world that the characters lived in. The homes, castles, clothes, and conditions in which the characters lived is illustrated in great detail through out the book. I have read that some readers did not appreciate such detail in the book but I enjoyed the visuals the descriptions gave me and made it possible to envision the scenes as if I was looking into the time.

Overall, I felt The Pleasure Palace by Kate Emerson, was a wonderful look into a time frame I love to read about. The description of the characters and the time frame was very rich with detail and made me feel as if I was standing there with the characters. The twists and turns within the story were some what predictable but overall it was a very enjoyable read. I rated the book 4 out of 5 stars.

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