- Series: Tales from the Tudor Court (Book 1)
- Paperback: 456 pages
- Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (June 30, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1477830901
- ISBN-13: 978-1477830901
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 229 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #781,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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My Lady Viper (Tales from the Tudor Court) Paperback – June 30, 2015
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About the Author
E. Knight is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of the Tales from the Tudor Court series. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and Romance Writers of America and the creator of the popular historical blog History Undressed. Knight lives in Maryland with her own knight and three princesses.
For more information, visit www.elizaknight.com.
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Top customer reviews
With so many options, it’s hard to imagine an author bringing something new to the table. Are there really angles that haven’t been tried, schemes that haven’t been woven, or characters who haven’t been featured? I know it sounds improbable, but such a distinction does not make something in and of itself impossible which leads me to E. Knight’s My Lady Viper.
Overflowing with intrigue, conspiracy, and romance, this book had me hooked from the first chapter and that isn’t easy for a skeptic such as myself to admit. Henry’s court comes vibrantly to life under Knight’s pen, drawing the audience into a refreshing original web a danger and deceit.
Anne Seymour’s divided loyalties and multiple alliances really appealed to me. The complexity of her situation built tension I’m entirely unused to seeing in this subgenre and conveyed a tangibly authentic degree of turmoil within the narrative.
The nontraditional love triangle was equally alluring. Anne’s emotional connections to Edward and Anthony are not clear cut or easy define and though they are remarkably different, both are passionate affairs that leave the reader genuinely absorbed in Anne’s romantic liaisons.
A brilliant illustration of a capricious monarch and the nest of serpents that surrounded him, My Lady Viper is an absolute must. Intricately detailed, cleverly constructed and utterly irresistible.
For the most part, I bought into the idea that Lady Anne Seymour, wife of Edward Seymour, was a tad misunderstood, because Wright made her case with a totally fictional horrible miscarriage of justice during Anne’s teens that explains a lot of her bitterness toward not only Surrey but her own parents. While it bothers me that an actual historical figure is so used in this manner, at the same time, Surrey was, by all accounts, arrogant and in his own words in his poems, his relationship with Anne was not your conventional love affair. Surrey shows great hostility to Anne, calling her a “wolf” (which with his knowledge of Roman literature was a sexual slur of the worse kind.) So, I can live with that. E. Knight makes her point.
What I disagree with is the writers’ need to have Anne repeatedly feeling remorse toward her victims. Anne was a product of her environment and her environment was the amoral court of Henry Tudor, a place and time filled with mendacity, moral corruption and compromise. Few in the inner circle of Henry VIII (with possibly the exception of Charles Brandon, the Earl of Sussex) were capable of an honest emotion lasting much longer than the dessert course. Loyalty was a commodity to be traded. These are people who baited bears for fun and threw their own virgin daughters at the King. I would much rather have seen Anne honestly revel in her abuse of her victims, or attempt to justify herself as skillfully as Hilary Mantel's Cromwell justifies his actions. E. Knight is a good writer but she’s stumbled a few times with this technique. She didn’t blow it, but she did stumble.
In fact, Knight admits in her postscript that she changed King Henry’s famous response to the midwife’s announcement that she couldn’t save both mother and child. E. Knight felt it made Henry more human. Sadly, the whole point of Henry Tudor’s life is the fact that he had no real empathy with anyone. He was a monster, charming sometimes, but still a monster. She should have stuck with the truth in that scene.
Please note that E. Knight is a writer of romance novels. This is a matter of taste which I happen to not share, but if you do, I suppose she handles this well.
A couple of historical inaccuracies bother me. The character kept eating food that just wasn’t available in England at that time. One example is the hot squash soup that made Anne sick that hot summer afternoon. Squash is from the New World, and even if introduced into Spain by that time, it couldn’t grow in England. If she’d has squash soup that summer, it would have been an imported delicacy and if I’d written the book, I would have make a point to call it rare and imported so someone couldn’t call me on it.
Another problem was the mention of the court of Versailles. This palace was the center of political power in France from 1682. The center of the French government during the Tudor period was the Louvre not Versailles. A small point but it bothered me.
All in all, this book is good and frankly not nearly as offensive as the utter nonsense put out by Philippa Gregory.
Most recent customer reviews
I read this book in a matter of days. I couldn't put it down. I found it engrossing. The characters were wonderfully written.
I hope E.Read more
The book was written in the first person and the author made the character one-dimensional and uninteresting.Read more