HFVBT Book Review & Giveaways: Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle

Publication Date: August 6, 2013

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster

Pages:  432

Author:  Elizabeth Fremantle

Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Cupcake Rating:  An excellent cupcake with sprinkles AND a cherry on top!

Synopsis (from HFVBT):

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.

My Review:

First, I want to give a huge thank-you to Amy Bruno, for giving me the opportunity to read this book in hardback copy and for being flexible with me with the timeframe to post this review!

This book is traditional in giving the details to a Tudor lifestyle and stays true to the era.  You do not need to be a Tudor historian to appreciate this book, nor do you need to know about Katherine Parr and her marriage to King Henry VIII.  I love that the author writes this novel in a way that is easy to read, easy to follow, and develops the characters with such transparency, that you will want to read more about Katherine-one of the less known wives of Henry VIII.

Because I am not an expert on Tudor history, Elizabeth Fremantle gave me a more intimate look into the life of Katherine Parr.  The struggles Katherine endures with the loss of her husband, having a second chance at love with someone she can’t marry, and being forced to marry a man that she loathes, are just so unimaginable for one person to experience….and for it to be true….wow!!  Elizabeth just weaves such a beautiful story that it really kept me spellbound throughout the story.

I love the extra spice added into the storyline with characters, such as Dot (her servant) and Meg (step-daughter), and just gave the story some pause between the intense struggles Katherine experiences.

Again, I realize this is historical fiction, and Tudor fans may be bothered by some of the interactions that take place (ie, Katherine and Thomas), but it still makes for an excellent read!!

If you love historical fiction, love a book about love and relationships, and enjoy Tudor history, then grab this book!!

Giveaway Details:

In the comment section, add your email and what about this book fascinates you! That’s it. 

And, guess what?!? 

I have TWO books to giveaway!! Two, beautiful hardback copies!

Giveaway Ends October 31, 2013.

About the Author

Elizabeth Fremantle holds a first class degree in English and an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck College London. She has contributed as a fashion editor to various publications including Vogue, Elle and The Sunday Times. QUEEN’S GAMBIT is her debut novel and is the first in a Tudor trilogy. The second novel, SISTERS OF TREASON, will be released in 2014. She lives in London.

For more about Elizabeth and her future projects, please visit her website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Pinterest.

Please visit Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours to access the trailers that Elizabeth made and shared for this book!!

11 thoughts on “HFVBT Book Review & Giveaways: Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle

  1. This is a great giveaway! Your review intrigued me! I don’t know a lot about Catherine parr, except her part as Henry VIII’s last wife and her role as Elizabeth step-mother and the Thomas Seymour affair with Elizabeth and Catherine. It would interest me to learn more about this dowager queen and her life at court in this time, when she was married to Thomas Seymour.


  2. My father was the one who first gave me historical fiction books. They give us an intimate portrayal of what has happened in the past and I always enjoy reading them!

    Thanks for the giveaway!


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