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Secrets of the Tudor Court: The Pleasure Palace Paperback – February 3, 2009
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Eight-year-old Jane Popyncourt travels with her mother from France to the English court of Henry VII. She is raised with the royal children, teaching them French. When her mother dies unexpectedly, Jane is left with no money, but becomes a favorite of Princess Mary, whom she serves. Learning since childhood the treacherous ways of court life and the temperamental nature of the Tudors, she strives to please those around her until a French prisoner captures her attention. The Duc de Longueville, a handsome married man, stirs Jane. She starts an affair with him to the dismay of her friends and the delight of the new king, Henry VIII. He uses Jane as a spy, a mission that causes friction, but a role that also may help her solve the mystery of her mother’s death. Emerson creates a riveting historical novel of the perils of the Tudor Court, vividly fictionalizing historical characters and breathing new life into their personalities and predicaments. --Patty Engelmann
"History, love, lust, power, ambitions -- The Pleasure Palace is a pleasure indeed." -- Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Boleyn
"In the first in Emerson's series, it's hard to tell where reality ends and fiction begins. Rich and lushly detailed, teeming with passion and intrigue, this is a novel in which you can happily immerse yourself in another time and place." -- Kathe Robin, Romantic Times
"It is this heroine that separates this book from the pack. The characters are subtle and well-drawn.." -- Publishers Weekly
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There are many novels out there based upon the court of Henry VIII and after having read a few of them I took a break from them for a little while. This was the first novel set in his court that I have read recently, which is perhaps why I found it a refreshing story, although I don't think this is the only reason. There were many other plots developing in this novel, aswell as the one based upon Henry VIII slowly losing interest in his first queen. The story of Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon is brought to light, aswell as the story of the Duc de Longueville being a prisoner of war in England for some time. When you combine these stories alongside the main story of Jane Popyncourt trying to shed light on her mysterious family history, you'll find that the author has succeeded in creating a brilliantly diverse and entertaining novel.
The only reason I gave this novel four stars instead of five was because I would have liked to have seen more development in the early stages of the love interest between Popyncourt and Guy Dunois. Even though the author had made it obvious where things were headed, if more sparks would have flown in the earlier stages it would definitely have helped the reader to become more emotionally committed to the two becoming a pair.
Wonderful! I was completely enthralled, and couldn't wait to find out what the story was! It would take awhile to get there though as the whole middle of the novel was very sluggish. Jane's growing up in court, her affair with the Duc de Longueville, trying to get to France only to be denied, and sloooowwwwly finding out little pieces here and there of why her and her mother had to flee France. Very slow-going...this is not a very long book, one I had expected to finish in a couple days, but it ended up taking almost a week because I just couldn't get in to it.
Finally though, near the end of the novel (about 78% on the Kindle) things started to pick up. Jane was getting answers to her questions much more rapidly, and the story was falling into place. I was very pleased with the ending and where it all lead to. Overall, a decent book. I liked that it wasn't the same-'ol tired Tudor tale. We're introduced to new players and a new story, Henry and family are more in the background, not the center of everything, which was kinda nice. I just wish it held my attention a little more throughout the middle.
I loved reading The Pleasure Palace for the somewhat historical truths alone, and the story in fact was intriguing. Based on an actual persons in the court of Henry VIII, you'll love reading this tale as much as I did, I'm sure. A great read for sitting in the shade of a cool porch on a summers day. Bring a cool drink with you to calm those moments of passion reading.
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I love how clever and creative Kate Emerson is bringing to life characters from the...Read more