Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Favored Queen by Carolly Erickson


I bought several books from this author a while ago and recently read THE UNFAITHFUL QUEEN. It was really good! Packed full of drama, cattiness, and court intrigue-- just the way Tudor fiction should be, I think you'll agree. The last book was about Catherine Howard, who King Henry VIII had executed for adultery. This book was about Jane Seymour, the mother of Edward, who died from complications in childbirth. One of the "lucky" wives Henry VIII didn't kill.

The book opens with Catherine of Aragon being married to Henry VIII. Catherine has just had another miscarriage and Henry VIII is furious because he has no male heirs. Jane is one of Catherine's handmaidens and disapproves of the flirtations between Anne Boleyn and Catherine because she is loyal to her queen. Unlike UNFAITHFUL, where the bulk of the book is about Catherine's relationship to Henry, most of Jane's narrative is that of a passive observer as she serves as handmaiden to Catherine and then, later, to Anne throughout her rise and fall as the harlot queen.

A lot of people seem to dislike these books for some reason. Maybe because they're heavy on the drama? I actually like that about the book because it brings back warm memories of my fond Philippa Gregory obsession from the aughts. The only thing that kind of put me off this one a little is the introduction of supernatural elements. There's this nun who hates Anne and starts prophesying these biblical curses that end up coming true and then she gives birth to a stillborn demon baby. What. The crazy in this one is over the top and I enjoyed it, even though it made me roll my eyes a little.

If you enjoy light and breezy historical fiction that's heavy on the drama and maybe plays with the facts a little for sensationalism, you'll probably really enjoy these books! I breezed through them and plan on checking out more from this author soon.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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