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Rivals in the Tudor Court Paperback – May 1, 2011

22 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Tudor Court Series

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; First Edition edition (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075824200X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758242006
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,004,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on July 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
I wasn't really sure what to think of this book before I started it. With the cheesy romance novel-style cover, the publisher and my non-interest in the previous book, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. But after I won the book out of chance from a giveaway, I thought it was worth trying. I mean, how can I say no to historical novel from the Tudor period, especially set in the Tudor period. I was somewhat intrigued at the fact that this novel followed the life of Thomas Howard, and even had a male lead-in, which doesn't seem to be a common thing these days in historical novels.

As a child of the ambitious Howard family, Thomas Howard lands the princess Anne Plantagenet as a wife, Henry VII's sister. The two quickly find that they are madly in love -and spend about the first quarter of the novel desperately trying to have children (over and over again) until Anne finally dies. Then, with Henry VIII now in power, Thomas weds the young Elizabeth Stafford who find herself deeply in love with the duke, despite the fact that he doesn't show much affection for her. Thomas soon takes a mistress, and Elizabeth must deal with this during the intrigue of Anne Boleyn, the niece of Thomas Howard, and Katherine Howard, also another of Thomas' nieces.

With such a setup, Rivals in the Tudor Court started with promise, but as I kept reading the less I seemed to like the book. At first it was little things. The writing was overly flowery. The point of view kept switching from Thomas to Anne to Elizabeth to Thomas's mistress Bess and others without any warning, so I ended up spending far too much of the novel trying to figure out who was talking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Book reader on May 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got Ms. Bogdan's first book -- Secrets of the Tudor Court -- as a freebie and it was one of my MAJOR scores. That book -- about the Tudor Court from the perspective of Mary, Duchess of Richmond, the daughter of Thomas, Duke of Norfolk --was well-written, and viewed the antics of Henry VIII's court from a different viewpoint. Historically, it stands at about the same level as Philippa Gregory's books, but it wasn't jarringly reworked.

I didn't really expect to enjoy the author's second book, Rivals in the Tudor Court, as well, but she really has matched her first effort. There are some discrepancies between the events of the first book and the same in the second, but again, it's very readable and has a different take on the well known stories. I really highly recommend this book, as well as Bogdan's first, and hope she's in the midst of writing yet another.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rio on May 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the prequel to Secrets of the Tudor Court. In Secrets we learned what an evil man Thomas Howard was in his later years and in this one the author takes us back to his childhood and his first marriage. The days when he was happy and before much pain was brought his way due to an abusive grandfather and having his heart continuously ripped out by those closest to him. Thomas becomes hard and builds a wall around himself to protect his emotions.
Elizabeth Stafford is married off to Thomas (of course, against her wishes) and Thomas hiding all of his emotions is a difficult husband. When he does feel, he turns those emotions into rage. I do not offend abuse in anyway, but the author is so good at character development and taking us inside the heads of these people, that we understand where they are coming from. This was a page turner that I could not put down.
Now, why not 5 stars? Those dang Tudor cliches. I am so tired of seeing authors jumping on popular Tudor trends (which we are seeing alot of lately.) It doesn't matter if it's fiction or not, it's annoying. If I read Anne had a 6th finger one more time! The Mary Boleyn cliches are here too.
Overall, I enjoyed the story immensely. I was just annoyed and the flow stopped as soon as one of these myths popped in. I also didn't care for Thomas' first wife. She was too "Mary Sue." When Elizabeth marries Thomas that's when it gets good. The author weaves a great story between Thomas, Elizabeth and his mistress Bess Holland. If you are in the mood for a light read, but a great page turner...this is it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By AnneB on June 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
I love reading books about the court of Henry VIII and this one was not one of the best I have read, but still a good book. The book does not concentrate on Henry VIII but on Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk. The story is told through the three main characters point of view, Thomas Howards, his second wife Elizabeths, and his mistress Bess Hollands. I really liked how the story had these different points of view, it made it more interesting.

The story moved along quickly, there were no sections that I felt were too long or dragged. This time in history is so exciting and there are so many things going on it really keeps you interested in the book. The part that I enjoyed reading the most was the development of Thomas Howard's character and how he changed from all the tragedies in his life. Bogdan really gives us an in-depth view of his motivations, desires, and ambitions. All the characters are developed well, but Thomas's is given the most time and is the most complex.

If you enjoy reading Tudor history and books about interesting lives in history, I would definitely recommend reading Rivals in the Tudor Court.
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