Welcome to the series where I share my thoughts on the books that I read. Not as many as I would like, but I am currently on target to read a book a week. I have already enjoyed three books written by Tony Riches and this book is no exception. Published on February 1st, Mary: Tudor Princess is the story of the daughter of Henry VII and sister to the newly crowned King Henry VIII.
About Mary Tudor Princess
From the author of the international best-selling Tudor Trilogy, the true story of the Tudor dynasty continues with the daughter of King Henry VII, sister to King Henry VIII. Mary Tudor watches her elder brother become King of England and wonders what the future holds for her.
Born into great privilege, Mary has beauty and intelligence beyond her years and is the most marriageable princess in Europe. Henry plans to use her marriage to build a powerful alliance against his enemies. Will she dare risk his anger by marrying for love?
Meticulously researched and based on actual events, this ‘sequel’ follows Mary’s story from book three of the Tudor Trilogy and is set during the reign of King Henry VIII.
My review of the the book.
This book opens in 1509 as the 13 year old Princess Mary witnesses the coronation of her brother King Henry VIII, who is himself just five years older. Despite his youth, Henry has an expansive and expensive plan to extend his realm, which includes marrying his older brother Arthur’s widow Catherine of Aragon; then 23 years old.
The young Princess Mary is drawn into a diplomatic web of intrigue and alliances; a pawn for barter to the highest bidder. The stakes are enormous and King Henry and his advisors move the pieces around the chess board to achieve the most effective outcome. This includes a strategic betrothal, and finally a marriage for Mary, who finds herself at a distant court, in the middle of a completely different intrigue.
This is not a dry dusty history book with dates and statistics. It is a story of a young girl and events that are beyond her control for most of her life. However, it is clear when you first meet her at 13, that she is very well educated, determined and also brave. She faces the decisions made by others with stoicism in public and it is only when alone do you see the vulnerable and frightened child that she still is. She loves and supports her brother Henry, despite his mercurial nature and treatment of his wife Catherine who she considers a sister. Even knowing his swift retribution for those closest to him that fall from favour, Mary still has the courage to go against his will, fighting to be with the man she loves and her happiness.
We follow the various key events of her life, through her thoughts and words that Tony Riches has created. Sharing the fears, love, despair, grief and triumphs of this young woman, mother and queen in her own right. I would have liked to have met her; I think she was a remarkable woman in her own quiet and determined way.
The other characters are just as well portrayed. We get to witness the behaviour of the young Henry VIII, who did not expect to become king, and is therefore completely unprepared for his new role. His early reign is a hedonistic mission to spend his inherited finances; surrounded by sycophants who are only too happy to encourage him. Behind the scenes ambitious statesman make deals that will further England’s position in Europe, and their own, irrespective of the impact on the young men and women involved.
Meanwhile Queen Catherine is having child after child in a desperate race against time to provide a male heir who lives beyond childhood. Her already tenuous hold on the crown is at stake as Henry pursues other opportunities.
Do not expect flowery language of the age, but plain English and a clear and descriptive narrative. I enjoyed finding out more about this rarely seen princess who played an important role in the history of the Tudors and also England’s future in Europe. I recommend this book and also the rest of the Tudor Series.
Buy the Mary: Tudor Princess: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Tudor-Princess-Tony-Riches-ebook/dp/B079K1DLRL
A selection of other books by Tony Riches
Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tony-Riches/e/B006UZWOXA
And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Tony-Riches/e/B006UZWOX
Read more reviews and follow Tony Riches on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5604088.Tony_Riches
About Tony Riches
Tony Riches is a full-time writer and lives with his wife in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. After several successful non-fiction books, Tony turned to novel writing and wrote ‘Queen Sacrifice’, set in 10th century Wales, followed by ‘The Shell’, a thriller set in present day Kenya. A specialist in the history of the early Tudors, he is best known for his Tudor Trilogy. Tony’s other international best sellers include ‘Warwick ~ The Man Behind the Wars of the Roses’ and ‘The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham’.
Connect to Tony Riches
Thank you for dropping in today and hope you have enjoyed the review as much as I enjoyed the book and the others in the Tudor series