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Maid of the King's Court Hardcover – 14 Mar 2017

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA) (14 Mar. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763688061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763688066
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.5 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 239,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


The novel is a satisfying blend of fact and artistic liberty: the women's duties as maids of the court are drawn from history, but Katherine's illicit lover is an amalgam of her two real-life lovers. The retention of British spellings and the inclusion of lesser-known customs of the period add further authenticity. Exhilarating, romantic, and illuminating; has the potential to turn casual readers into Tudor history buffs.
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A thrilling read that is sure to have readers running to a history book, eager to learn more about the facts behind the story.
The dialogue-heavy prose and the courtly intrigues make this historical novel a riveting page-turner...this title will enhance larger collections where historical fiction is in demand.
--School Library Journal
Historian Worsley successfully transports readers into the sixteenth-century world of the wealthy in her debut fiction novel with detailed descriptions of trysts, monthly baths, bowling competitions, and colorful performances of the "Dance of the Gentle Fawn."
Worsley's accessible prose, headstrong heroine, and sense of romance may remind readers of Shannon Hale's work. Eliza's wit and many courtly adventures make her an engaging companion as she transforms from a naive girl who describes the king as having "exchanged" Anne Boleyn for a new wife to one intimately involved in the machinations of the court.
--Publishers Weekly Online
This book is well written and leaves readers anticipating the events of the next chapter.
--School Library Connection

About the Author

Lucy Worsley is the chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces. She is also a presenter of programs on royalty and other topics for the BBC. Maid of the King's Court is her young adult novel debut. Lucy Worsley lives in London.

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Format: Hardcover
Love Lucy Worsley. Very informative dvd. Well worth watching
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Caution about content for young teens 15 Mar. 2017
By GraceDancer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this in the British version (titled Eliza Rose). It's an intriguing story, with interesting details about life at court under King Henry VIII's reign. Reading it as an adult I found the story a little simple, but it would probably be interesting to a young teen. But therein lies a problem: I felt the subject matter to be a bit mature for younger teens. It's not like they don't know adultery happens, but the fact that Eliza gives it serious consideration without any real discussion or thought as to the morality of it really bothered me. I thought there needed to be more concern about the morality of adultery, whether committed by the king or ordinary folks. So for me, this isn't a book I would recommend for teens without a discussion after reading it about the issues it raised.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good middle grade historical read 14 Mar. 2017
By QueenBook - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I've had an interest in the Tudors since I was in middle school, and I would have been riveted by this as a young reader. Eliza is plucky and smart and her narrative voice can speak to the modern girl without feeling out of place in her own time. Many of her struggles are universal to women of all eras, so she is easy to connect with. The details about everything from marriage contracts to cosmetics are well blended into the storyline and add the historical aspects without miring readers down. It is hard to write about this time in history without addressing infidelity and the rather icky bargains courtiers were willing to make for wealth or power. Nevertheless, it is handled fairly delicately. Themes of loyalty, friendship and looking to your own conscience add weight to the story line. All of this means that an older middle school student interested in the topic will probably enjoy the book. As an adult reader with some other books on the topic under my belt, I found this one a little dull. The ending was also hard for me to embrace, though it was the ending I wanted, because it seemed a little bit of the stretch for the character I'd come to know in the course of the story. In short, language, situations, and interest level are appropriate for the mature 7th grade and up set. I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley, though this in no way influenced my opinion.
4.0 out of 5 stars Read it twice and you'll like it twice as much. 18 April 2017
By Maria Beadnell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Writing a book is a lot like being a diplomat in that if you are doing a good job, no one can see how hard you are working.

Worsley has the unenviable job of writing a character from the time of Henry VIII and making her believable to a modern audience and sympathetic to us, at the same time that she has to make it plausible that this person lived in Henry's household but never made it into a history book --oh yeah, and she also has to tell us about English Ren customs without weighing us down with details.

My first read through, I concluded the book was "eh," because a reader can totally see the author working. The foreshadowing is not subtle. The happy ending is the only possible happy ending, and she's made us care so much about the main character we would be furious if that happy ending didn't come to us, as implausible as it is.

And the author made some strange, confusing choices in names: with the historic Anne Boleyn followed by Anne of Cleves, there was no reason to make a serving maid yet another Anne, and there was no reason to have another servant be "Henny" when we already had a Henry. Knowing Lucy Worsley's work, she probably did this on purpose to show us how common those names were, but it slowed me down in following the story.

But then, I just could not return the book to the library.

I had liked it too much.

I absolutely adored the main character, who is intelligent without being brilliant, attractive without being striking, sympathetic without being unreasonable.

And Katherine Howard as a mean girl is genius. (SPOILER) First the author makes us hate Katherine because she is unkind to the protagonist, then we slowly realize that no one deserves what happened to Katherine, then we begin to see that she had little choice and was desperate to save herself. It works, it really does.

The best part of the whole book was the realization of horror. If you have ever undergone true tragedy, you will recognize how slowly people realize things are disastrous. At first, Katherine's arrest is an annoyance; the maids of honor worry that they will fail to find husbands as a result. As it dawns on them that they may lose their heads along with their employer's, the horror and fear reaches the reader as well.

Another book I intended to only borrow that will have to be purchased. :)
3.0 out of 5 stars For Lovers of the Time Period 15 April 2017
By Megan Pegasus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Elizabeth Camperdowne has always known her place in the world. As the only daughter of the oldest noble family in Derbyshire, she is destined to marry a man who will bring wealth and title back to her family after her uncle’s treason to the king. After a botched engagement with a local earl’s son, Elizabeth is sent to stay with a relative who runs a school that trains up girls to serve the English court. There Elizabeth meets a cousin she never knew she had, vivacious and flirtatious Katherine Howard. When it comes time for the English court’s need of new maids of honor for the new Queen Anne of Cleves, Katherine and Elizabeth get the chance they’ve been waiting for. While Katherine soon sets her sights on winning the heart of King Henry VIII, Elizabeth endeavors to fulfill her family’s wishes, while constantly being drawn to the king’s page Ned Barsby. What seemed such a simple yet glamorous life in the English court, soon turns dangerous and chaotic as Anne of Cleves loses favor with the king and Elizabeth is drawn into court intrigue more than she ever wanted when her cousin Katherine becomes the new queen. And history knows how that turned out.

This was a confusing read to say the least. When I saw a young adult novel featuring Henry VIII’s court, I was extremely excited. I’m not sure where my fascination of the Tudor time period comes from, but I have been known to watch documentaries on Henry VIII. For fun. So of course when I saw this on the new releases list that I check and found it on NetGalley, I had to request it.

The characters were okay but I didn’t find any of them to be particularly engaging, especially the main character of Elizabeth. She was kind of bland for a main character and didn’t really do anything exciting to liven up her life in the book. Katherine was an interesting character, albeit frustrating at times, and she was certainly known for being lively in real life as well. I did really enjoy the glimpses that we got of King Henry and they definitely seemed to ring true with what is known about his personality.

I think the main issue of this book for me was the plot. Or maybe I should say the lack thereof. It never seemed like the book had any direction and I found myself struggling to figure out what the book was supposed to be about. I initially thought that Elizabeth was eventually going to end up with the earl’s son from the beginning of the book because of the wording used during her botched engagement. Then I thought we were going to follow Elizabeth to where Anne of Cleves spent her life as the king’s sister. It wasn’t until the end of the book and I read the author’s note that I realized this book was supposed to be about Katherine Howard and her possible motives of her betrayal of King Henry. I admit that when Katherine’s confession to Elizabeth was first told, I found myself completely surprised and intrigued with the possibility of what she said. But the plot lacked so much direction that I really feel the theme was done an injustice. The writing style was also nearly middle grade in its simplicity which didn’t do this book any favors either.

Overall I think because this book portrayed one of my favorite periods of history to read and learn about, I enjoyed it more than the average reader. With the writing style being simplistic and the chapters short, it’s definitely a quick read. If you are intrigued as I am about this time period, this may be worth the read for you. However if you’re looking for something full of intrigue and excitement, this isn’t the book for you.

*I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review*
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