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Queen's Gambit: A Novel (Katherine Parr) [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Fremantle
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (219 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $10.37
You Save: $5.62 (35%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived: This is the story of the one who survived.

Widowed for the second time at age thirty-one Katherine Parr falls deeply for the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour and hopes at last to marry for love. Instead, she attracts the amorous attentions of the ailing, egotistical, and dangerously powerful Henry VIII. No one is in a position to refuse a royal proposal so, haunted by the fates of his previous wives—two executions, two annulments, one death in childbirth—Katherine must wed Henry and rely on her wits and the help of her loyal servant Dot to survive the treacherous pitfalls of life as Henry’s queen. Yet as she treads the razor’s edge of court intrigue, she never quite gives up on love.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Intrigue, romance, and treachery abound in Fremantle’s debut novel as Katherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII, walks a fine line between passion and loyalty. Married to an aging king with a penchant for discarding wives, she must learn to navigate the often perilous intricacies, suspicions, and ambitions of a divided Tudor court. Though passionately in love with dashing courtier Thomas Seymour, Katherine shrewdly adapts to her new role, becoming a positive influence on Henry while arousing the ire of many of his advisors. Often fraught with danger, her ultimately successful balancing act earns her the title of “the one who survived.” This compulsively readable fictional biography of the ultimate survivor is infused with the type of meticulous attention to historical detailing that discerning fans of Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory have come to expect in the Tudor canon. --Margaret Flanagan


"Elizabeth Fremantle's rich narrative breathes vibrant life into Henry VIII's most intriguing, intelligent and least known wife, Katherine Parr." (Anne Easter Smith, author of A Rose for the Crown and Royal Mistress )

Product Details

  • File Size: 6320 KB
  • Print Length: 465 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1476703078
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (August 6, 2013)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AB193B0
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,310 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of the Last Wife of King Henry VIII August 6, 2013
'One day, hundreds of years from now, people will tell stories about the court of King Henry and the romance of it all - the Eighth King Henry and his Six Wives. But will they tell of the terror that came with it, she wonders, or will it be made to seem a golden age?'

Queen's Gambit opens with the eminent death of Katherine Parr's second husband, John Neville, Lord Latimer. While still in mourning, she is requested by the King's daughter Mary, a childhood friend, to visit her at court. Shortly after her arrival she meets and falls in love with Thomas Seymour, the man who will leave an indelible mark upon her. The idea of a life with Thomas is snubbed out when King Henry VIII offers her a marriage invitation where no is not an option.

The story is ultimately told from the POV of Katherine, however, we are also given glimpses from the POV of her lady's maid and of her doctor Huicke. It portrayed how it was like to live in this time period as royalty and as a low-born. Unfortunately, the change in POV felt very jarring when you're absorbed in the story of the Queen and I think I would have enjoyed it much more if it was solely Katherine's story.

Towards the middle-part of the story the pace slowed down and it became infinitely less interesting to me mainly because it became less about the characters and more about the politics and strife going on in England at the time. Considering I know quite a bit about the history in England during the Tudor time period this was a bit redundant for me, albeit still somewhat interesting. I understand that this of course needs to be included some-how but I felt that the characters ultimately got placed on the back burner while the refresher course on 'The History of England' was taking place.
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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Majesty of Katherine Parr April 13, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
To be chosen as Henry the VIII's sixth wife--a blessing or a curse? THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT by Elizabeth Freemantle brings to life the terror of being loved by the mercurial King Henry VIII. The book opens with Katherine Paar married happily to Lord Latymer, the only sadness being that they have remained childless. He was old when she married him. Despite her knowledge of herbs, Katherine and the good doctor Huicke cannot save Latymer from a painful death by cancer. The man is scarcely buried before rumor has it that Henry has his eye on Katherine Parr. She is powerless, as is any woman in the kingdom, for what Henry wants, Henry gets, even if he decides to cast his favorites rashly and sometimes by death.

To complicate the matter, Katherine is introduced to Lord Thomas Seymour, whose elegant good looks and knowledgeable manners make him the most popular courtier. Though she tries to hold up her defenses, Thomas knows his way to a woman's heart. Even Thomas, however, cannot override the King's wishes.

Katherine, besieged with gifts from the King and doubts of her own, must marry the old man. He is grotesquely fat, his leg ulcer reeks, and his temperament is that of a very spoiled child. Katherine knows enough about court life to keep the King on an even keel with her, always deferring to his wishes and building up his self-esteem. The King enjoys her wit. The king enjoys her in his bed though he would be happier if she produced a male heir.

The day to day tension of living at court with the volatile king, his nest of vipers that he calls his council, and the backbiting of the women's chambers is brought into vivid view through meticulous research in this volume.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
After the great reviews online, I was so disappointed in this book. It is so unsatisfying that I can't even finish it, got about halfway through and just packed it in as time wasted. Repeated, over the top, and completely unnecessary sex scenes just ruined this for me. Additionally, the writing is average at best. In my opinion, Queen's Gambit belongs in the bodice ripper category. The history is interesting, of course, what a story, but this book doesn't do justice to the story, the characters or the time. The writer doesn't include near enough detail to bring you back to the time in history (food prep, clothing, smells, sights, daily routine etc.) It is a bodice ripper with a bit of history on the side. I am a voracious reader and love the well written historical novel, The Red Tent, for example, is one of my favorites. This book, however, disappointed on so many levels.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars historical novel- thoroughly enjoyable May 30, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love historical fiction- it gives a credability to the work not found in other genres. This novel is more than just historical fiction, as the main character herself is a historical figure. In the list of characters, the author explains how much liberty was taken with various characters.

Elizabeth Fremantle has added depth and warmth to the time of Queen Katherine, last wife of Henry VIII. She had an amazing ability to balance home life and royal duties, and to stay poised under pressure. While trying to bring about the reformation of the Church, she had to walk a tightrope among politicians and nobles, not least of all was her volatile husband, the King.

It is almost easy to forget that Katherine is a Queen. This novel shows her as a person, a loving step-mother, a woman with intelligence and ambition- holding her family and friends together through perilous times. I was enthralled with this woman of rich dynamic.

Two characters that bring great humanity to the story are Dot, the Queen's servant, and Huicke, the Queen's physician. The author admits that she took great liberties with these 2 characters (though the people themselves did exist). We see much through Dot's eyes- after all, servants were ignored and as such, able to see and hear much. And Huicke became a close confidante to the Queen- perhaps her greatest friend in the novel. Katherine's concern for the people close to her adds a dynamic often not seen or discussed in royalty.

I absolutely loved this book, and hope Elizabeth Fremantle writes more!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed reading about a less well known Queen
Yet another tale of Tudor frolics, sex and intrigue, of which there are many books. I enjoyed reading about a less well known Queen, but felt something was missing in the telling... Read more
Published 4 days ago by izabela stroubou
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed this book.
Published 9 days ago by Barbara Land
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh to Be Queen
A great way to work actual history into a story. It really makes me glad that I did not live in that era. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Linda Rains
4.0 out of 5 stars Queens gambit
Another wonderful tale of what life must have truly been like at that time. It tells of how the aristocracy, and the low born lived. I recommend this book to anyone.
Published 22 days ago by Susan
4.0 out of 5 stars I really loved how the author wove in the life of a ...
This novel was an interesting and plausible look into how Katherine Parr might have survived being married to Henry VIII. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rachel Lloyd
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Fairly well written historical novel of Henry VIII 6th wife, Anne Parr.
Published 1 month ago by S. Warnock
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by H. A. Loeb
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great fictional insight into the last queen of Henry VIII
Published 1 month ago by Natalie4200
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good but not excellent
I was very interested in Katherine Parr's story. She certainly had a dramatic life, a good basis for a good book. This book was just good, though. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Elizabeth Hickey
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable read
Alot like a Phillipa Gregory book
Published 1 month ago by L. Hurley
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