Book Review: Secrets of the Tudor Court: The Pleasure Palace

Secrets of the Tudor Court: The Pleasure Palace by Kate Emerson

I'm always interested in reading historical fiction set in the court of Henry VIII, so I was eager to read this novel (the first in a planned series of "Secrets of the Tudor Court"). The time frame of this novel is the court of Henry VII, and later the early court of Henry VIII, soon after he married Queen Catherine of Aragon (no Anne Boleyn in sight!).

Jane Popyncourt (a real person of the age) joins the English court from France at the age of eight, and over the intervening years, finds herself parts of intrigues, spying, becoming a mistress, while always trying to figure out the mystery of why she and her mother left France so suddenly and secretly.

I found the "mystery" part of the novel a bit slow going, with only a few crumbs along the way, but the novel itself is overflowing with historical detail - festivals, costumes, games and proper Tudor behavior, which I enjoy reading about. Though the plot overall moved slowly, I enjoyed my time in the Tudor court, though I found I eventually tired of Jane and her lack of character growth.

Overall, though, this was another satisfying read in the Tudor era!

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