Publisher's Note:  

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. However, obliged to return to court, she attracts the attentions of the ailing, egotistical, and dangerously powerful Henry VIII, who dispatches his love rival, Seymour, to the Continent. 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 become his sixth queen.

Katherine has to employ all her instincts to navigate the treachery of the court, drawing a tight circle of women around her, including her stepdaughter, Meg, traumatized by events from their past that are shrouded in secrecy, and their loyal servant Dot, who knows and sees more than she understands. With the Catholic faction on the rise once more, reformers being burned for heresy, and those close to the king vying for position, Katherine’s survival seems unlikely. Yet as she treads the razor’s edge of court intrigue, she never quite gives up on love.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Simon and Schuster

Queen's Gambit

by Elizabeth Fremantle

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Overall Review:  

King Henry the 8th is a fascinating book subject and much has been written about his reign. Queen's Gambit, by Elizabeth Fremantle, details Henry's marriage to his sixth and final wife, Katherine Parr. I was instantly engrossed with this well-paced and heavily researched tale. Told from three characters' perspectives - Parr, her maid Dot and her physician friend Huicke - readers will learn much about this pivotal period in history. Fremantle proves to be a capable author in her debut novel and I especially appreciated her realistic portrayal of Katherine as a kind and strong champion of religion with a few character flaws. I highly recommend Queen's Gambit for anyone who loves Tudor history.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  8 religious exclamations, 11 mild obscenities, 9 derogatory names, 3 anatomical terms


Violence/Gore:  Multiple reports of violence involving racking, burning at the stake and beheading; a character's arm is twisted violently.


Sex/Nudity:  Several instances of kissing; a non-sexual depiction of nudity; numerous sexual references; a few incidents of touching and caressing; numerous implied or reported accounts of sexual activity, including reference to the rape of a teenage girl; a scene of sexual activity between adults without details; two detailed descriptions of sexual activity.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Homosexuality; assisted suicide; adultery and infidelity; pillage and rape 

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Characters frequently drink.

Reviewed By Rachel
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