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“The Constant Princess” by Philippa Gregory

Monday, July 04, 2011 - Book Reading
“The Constant Princess” by Philippa Gregory

Back of the Book:

“Katherine of Aragon is born Catalina, the Spanish Infanta, to parents who are both kings and crusaders. At the age of three, she is betrothed to Prince Arthur, son and heir of Henry VII of England, and is raised to be Princess of Wales. She knows that it is her destiny to rule that far-off, wet, cold land.” “Her faith is tested when her prospective father-in-law greets her arrival in her new country with a great insult; Arthur seems little better than a boy; the food is strange and the customs coarse. Slowly she adapts to the first Tudor court, and life as Arthur’s wife grows ever more bearable. Unexpectedly in this arranged marriage, a tender and passionate love develops.” But when the studious young man dies, she is left to make her own future: how can she now be queen, and found a dynasty? Only by marrying Arthur’s young brother, the sunny but spoilt Henry. His father and grandmother are against it; her powerful parents prove little use. Yet Katherine is her mother’s daughter and her fighting spirit is indomitable. She will do anything to achieve her aim; even if it means telling the greatest lie, and holding to it.

From Publishers Weekly:

As youngest daughter to the Spanish monarchs and crusaders King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, Catalina, princess of Wales and of Spain, was promised to the English Prince Arthur when she was three. She leaves Spain at 15 to fulfill her destiny as queen of England, where she finds true love with Arthur (after some initial sourness) as they plot the future of their kingdom together. Arthur dies young, however, leaving Catalina a widow and ineligible for the throne. Before his death, he extracts a promise from his wife to marry his younger brother Henry in order to become queen anyway, have children and rule as they had planned, a situation that can only be if Catalina denies that Arthur was ever her lover. Gregory’s latest (after Earthly Joys) compellingly dramatizes how Catalina uses her faith, her cunning and her utter belief in destiny to reclaim her rightful title. By alternating tight third-person narration with Catalina’s unguarded thoughts and gripping dialogue, the author presents a thorough, sympathetic portrait of her heroine and her transformation into Queen Katherine. Gregory’s skill for creating suspense pulls the reader along despite the historical novel’s foregone conclusion.
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Pages: 393

Published: 2006-08-28

Format Read: ebook

[xrr rating=4.0/5]

The very worst thing about this book is the historical inaccuracies. There are some things that are iffy and others that make very little sense based on the time they were living. If you think you know every detail about this point in history, then I would advise you to not read this. For everyone else, it’s a historical romance with political intrigue and based on real people you’ve already heard about.

The very best thing about this book is the story. If the mistakes in history don’t bother you (they didn’t bug me too much) then this story is fantastic! I loved it! Reading through the way Katherine felt as she was shuffled around, ignored, mistreated, cheated on, lied to, and everything else is fascinating!

Challenges:

This book will be placed under the 2011 E-Book Reading Challenge and the The TwentyEleven Challenge.

Occasionally Important Information:

"The Other Boleyn Girl" by Philippa Gregory
"Wither" by Lauren DeStefano

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