July 8, 2013

The Tudor Book Blog Reading Challenge: July

Sorry I'm a few days late posting this. I went on a much needed vacation this last week!

June saw a few new reviews:

  • Jaclyn reviewed Diane Haeger’s novels The Queen’s Rival and The Queen's Mistake at the TBB.
  • Shannon Leigh (The Most Happy Reader) reviewed C. W. Gortner's The Last QueenSusan Higginbotham's The Stolen Crown: The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of EnglandHer Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Mary TudorHer Highness, The Traitor, The Lady Elizabeth, My Lady of Cleves and The King's Daughter: A Novel of the First Tudor Queen.
  • Esther reviewed Alison Plowden's four-volume Elizabethan Quartet (The Young ElizabethDanger to ElizabethMarriage With My Kingdom, and Elizabeth Regina). 
  • Eva posted two reviews on GoodReads: The Lady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy and Catherine Parr by Elizabeth Norton.

Exciting news! Shannon also reached her goal this month! Yay Shannon!!! Eva is also only one away from her goal! You guys are awesome!

If I missed anyone or any reviews, please let me know! 

You may now start posting your July reviews here! I can't believe we are half way done with the reading challenge! Don't forget, you can sign up until mid-December. 

Happy reading! :)


  1. Hope you enjoyed your much deserved vacation!
    Review #19:
    Finished an interesting non-fiction book, Katherine the Queen: The Remarkable Life of Katherine Parr, the Last Wife of Henry VIII by Linda Porter
    Review can be found at Goodreads:

  2. The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir
    To anyone to who loves Tudor history, the author Alison Weir is a familiar name. I first read this book, The Six Wives of Henry VIII when it came out in the 1990's. The book is excellent. If you have the opportunity to hear the audiobook narrated by Simon Prebble, he does an great job narrating them. He has a great voice. If you are interested in the Tudors, this is a great first book and a good place to start, especially before you read any of the historical fiction books about the Tudors.

  3. The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England by Dan Jones

    The Plantagenets is an excellent book. I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys history and especially English history. It is well written, easy to follow and very interesting. I really did not know anything about the middle Plantagenents. I am familiar with Henry II and Henry V through Richard III. The others? I knew nothing about them. My only problem with this book is that it stops at Richard II. The author seems to view that as the end of the Plantagenet dynasty. Other than that, I found the book well written and exposed me to a new area of English history I was not familiar with.

  4. This review is of Maria Perry's "The Word of a Prince", a biography of Elizabeth, emphasizing her own letters and speeches. While it struck me as comparatively cursory in some regards, the absence of attempts at psychoanalysis to explain why she didn't marry is a welcome change.

    Esther Sorkin

  5. Another excellent Alison Weir book is "The Children of Henry Viii", which begins with Henry's death and ends with Mary's. At one time, the family was very close (and Mary was also quite fond of her cousin, Lady Jane Grey) until religious extremism on both sides tore them apart -- Edward and Jane were as fanatically Protestant as Mary was fanatically Catholic. A great guide to this time period.

    Esther Sorkin

  6. Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb, review on my blog here: http://ageeksbookshelf.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/witchstruck-by-victoria-lamb.html

  7. My 4th review - Death and the Virgin Queen by Chris Skidmore on my blog:


  8. Sorry that it's been a while! I've actually read two books since my last post, but here is my review of My Lady of Cleves by Margaret Campbell Barnes.

    While I enjoyed the Tudor Rose, also by this author, I found My Lady of Cleves fascinating. Perhaps its because I don't know much about Anne of Cleves, besides that she was divorced and spent her life as "Henry's beloved sister." This book followed her journey from a practical Flemish princess to becoming a beloved figure of the English court. I found that the pacing of this book was well-done, I kept coming back to read more. Anne is portrayed excellently, you experience her gambit of emotions all filtered through her levelheaded Protestant Upbringing. Barnes gives one the belief that Anne, perhaps understood Henry in a way that even Katherine, who is generally considered to know him the best, could not. I would highly recommend this read for someone who wants to take a break from the Anne Boleyn era for a while.


  9. Hello again! Here is my review of At The Mercy of the Queen by Anne Clinard Barnhill, which is my third book.

    I enjoyed this book. I found the writing style strange, it was very dialogue heavy and the author's attempt at historical language sometimes seemed clunky to me. However, the story moved along at a nice pace, though a little slow at times. It brought a nice twist to what we know about Anne Boleyn.

    The heroine is her cousin and eventual confidant, the innocent Madge Shelton. Madge loyally weathers the storm at court with Anne, going so far as to bed King Henry and seduce him back to his wife. While I found the latter part of the plot slightly ridiculous, I don't doubt it was done. It merely baffles the modern mind that any woman thought such a plan would work.

    I thought it was lovely to see Anne portrayed through another's eyes and the forbidden romance between Madge and Arthur Brandon also made a nice addition. I would recommend this to any Anne Boleyn aficionado looking for a new spin on a familiar tale.

    Happy Reading!


  10. Review #20
    The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir
    Review is at Goodreads:

  11. Review #21
    The First Marie and the Queen of Scots by Linda Root
    at Goodreads:

  12. Another review from me, this time The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen, on my blog here http://ageeksbookshelf.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/the-boleyn-king-by-laura-andersen.html

  13. And another, definitely on a roll this month. My review of Witchfall by Victoria Lamb is on my blog here http://ageeksbookshelf.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/witchfall-by-victoria-lamb.html

  14. I've been off the Tudor reading for a few months but I have a number of books coming up with Tudor themes so I am excited to get back in the saddle! I just finished The Tudor Secret: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8871844-the-tudor-secret.

  15. Today I finished The Virgin's Lover by Phillipa Greggory, which is my fourth book.

    I ripped through this book, I found it thoroughly engrossing. It tells the story of Elizabeth and Robert Dudley. However, the narrative focuses mostly on Dudley, and his wife Amy, who must struggle to cope with the fact that her husband has made a mistress of the Queen of England. Of course, the novel addresses the mystery of Amy's death...and the author puts a spin on who did it.

    The most interesting and (sometimes irritating) aspect of this book was that it greatly deviated from the strong, independent Elizabeth that we often see depicted on screen and in other novels. She was often indecisive, easily swayed, whining, and constantly stated that she "could not live" or "could not decide" without Dudley. It is not until the end of the book the Greggory hints at her becoming the Queen we know her to be.

    Dudley is conniving, controlling, manipulative, and ambitious, but Greggory somehow makes you believe that he really does love both women, as best as he can.

    If you're willing to live alongside the characters, even if they frustrate you, this is a great read.


  16. I reviewed:

    The White Queen

    The Lady of the Rivers

    The Pirate Queen

  17. My 5th book review - Queen's Own Fool by Jane Yolen & Robert J. Harris on my blog: http://bookwormsloveofbooks.blogspot.com/2013/08/queens-own-fool-book-reivew.html

  18. The Tudor Conspiracy: http://luxuryreading.com/tudorconspiracy/.

  19. The Forbidden Queen http://ageeksbookshelf.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/the-forbidden-queen-by-anne-obrien.html


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