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The Queen's Rival (In The Court of Henry VIII #3)

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3.98  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,591 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
From the author of The Queen's Mistake comes the untold story of King Henry VIII's first well-known mistress.

As the beautiful daughter of courtiers, Elizabeth "Bessie" Blount is overjoyed when she secures a position as maid of honor to Katherine of Aragon. But when she captures the attention of the king himself, there are whispers that the queen ought to be worried for
...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by NAL (first published February 4th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rio (Lynne)
Jul 08, 2012 Rio (Lynne) rated it liked it
2.5 stars. Even though not all historical facts were documented during this time, those of us who know Tudor history have an idea how we feel these situations happened. Not much is known about Bessie Blount except that she did have Henry's son and was married to Gilbert Tailboys and Edward Clinton. In this story Diane weaves what is known with "a lot" of fiction. Some not so believable, but who I am I to say it didn't happen that way. The author had a tendency to write dialogue of things that wo ...more
Jenn (Booksessed)
Apr 11, 2011 Jenn (Booksessed) rated it liked it
This book combined a lot of my nerdy loves. Tudor history, books, and sappy love stories. Not like super sappy, but you'll probably say "aww" a couple times. Unless, you don't have a soul, in which case you probably don't read books either. So it's all moot, right?

I'm still a huge fan of the Showtime series The Tudors even though there is some artistic license there (read, historical inaccuracies) that one must over look. Even though it's really hard. At least for me. So I went into this novel h
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Kelly A.
Jan 12, 2011 Kelly A. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Historical fiction lovers, Tudor fanatics
It's official - Diane Haeger is one of my favorite authors. I love her ongoing series about Henry VIII's court, and The Queen's Rival was no disappointment. I read it in less than 24 hours.

This book explores the life of Bessie Blount, one of Henry's very first mistresses. Though not much is known about Bessie's early life, we follow her through her years as a maid-of-honor to Queen Katherine of Aragon, her affair with Henry, and the birth of their illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy. Little Henry is
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Mishel Zabala
Apr 07, 2011 Mishel Zabala rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

The Queen’s Rival is about one of King Henry VIII’s known mistresses, Elizabeth “Bessie” Blount. It was a very emotional read that put me directly in the court of Katherine of Aragon and Henry VIII. I was both fascinated and horrified by the court lifestyle. The politics, rules, and hidden agendas are enough to make anyone’s head spin. The Tudor time period is another part of history that I avoided both in school and after I graduated. This novel was an introduction into an
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Kara
Sep 27, 2015 Kara rated it liked it

In a review for an episode of Mad Men, the reviewer, praising the actress’s ability to become the character, noted that she wasn’t wearing a costume – she was wearing the character’s clothes.

Unfortunately, here we have the book version of actors wearing costumes, as there is a very stilted quality to everything the characters do and say, continually reminding us of historical people’s names and known places of the time period. Bess Blount does not draw us into the time period – there isn’t a lot
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Kristy
Sep 26, 2011 Kristy rated it liked it
well, I didn't realize that this was book #3....
Atleast I'm somewhat up on this history so I wasn't confused.

There is something so magical and fascinating to me about the Tudor court. I adore Henry, even though he is a dog. I love reading about Anne and Jane and Mary, I loved the show (and, yes I am so sad it's over, here's to hoping house of borgia is just as good) and I love the scenery and imagery of that time period.

This book was about Bessie Blount. The kings' first mistress to produce a
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Helen Azar
Mar 19, 2012 Helen Azar rated it it was ok
For some masochistic reason I force myself to read (or at least attempt to read) every single Tudor work of fiction that is released lately. And there are plenty of those. Some of them are excellent(Wolf Hall by Mantel and the Matthew Shardlake mystery series by Sansom, just two examples). Others - not so much. Most unfortunately fall into the latter category, including this one. Yes, it's somewhat different because it focuses on one of the lesser known of Henry VIII's mistresses (whom he did no ...more
Meagan
I enjoyed this book. Coming into it I didn't know all that much about Bess Blount, except you know the usual of being a mistress of Henry VIII and mothering one of his two sons. It was interesting to read. But there was a lot of problems that I had with this book. The main thing that was how stupid Bess came off. I mean really? She didn't think that the King had mistresses? Her parents were at court for most of their lives and tried to 'school' their daughter on the goings that should've been th ...more
Michelle
Aug 11, 2013 Michelle rated it it was amazing
I adored this author's writing style and "voice." The story came alive to me and all I wanted to do was read this book. It was tragically beautiful and passionately written. The lessons Bess learned were priceless. Her longtime friend, Gil, was truly heroic. One couldn't help wondering what might have happened to the Tudor Dynasty if Henry VIII had married Bess Blount instead of Anne Boleyn. Though not Christian fiction, the story went deep and explored the faith of the characters, which was sin ...more
Denise
Mar 10, 2011 Denise rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This book didn't quite click with me. Bess Blount was an adolescent when she came to the court of Henry VIII. She was mesmerized by the handsome king (in his 20's at the time). A more vivid case of "puppy love" you wouldn't be able to find! But there the main character (Bess) drifts along with the plot. The author tries to convince readers that King Henry was wounded emotionally by the death of his older brother, Arthur, but it just didn't convince me. IMHO the king was a healthy (and lusty) man ...more
Ambrosia Sullivan
Mar 20, 2015 Ambrosia Sullivan rated it it was amazing
Read and Reviewed for Fire & Ice

Anyone who knows even a small amount about the Tudor court has heard of Bess Blount and her Son to the King Henry Fitzroy, but do you know the whole story? In almost every Tudor era book I Have read they start with the Anne Boleyn era and graze over Bess Blount, so I was so excited to finally have a book that told more of her story. Yes it is fiction but oh it is so good.

Diane Haeger brings Bess to life as a vibrant fresh faced girl who truly loved the King,
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Mimi
Apr 20, 2012 Mimi rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012
Well written novel about Bess Blount, who is a character that is not usually in the forefront of Tudor novels. A good and interesting read, although it dragged a little bit at the end (and a side note, "Here, here" is incorrect. Arggggggg. I miss editors)

Marcia
Apr 26, 2016 Marcia rated it it was ok
I wasn't a huge fan of the multiple third-person narration, and I never really got *why* Henry was so attracted to Bess, although I suppose "he" told me during numerous scenes that it was her... innocence? her honesty? her not-like-other-girlsness?

I ended up being more interested in Gil's backstory. His love for Bess, unrequited as it was for most of the book, reminded me of something Nia Vardalos said of the husband in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. There were criticisms that the character was just
...more
Christy English
Apr 04, 2011 Christy English rated it really liked it
Beautifully written novel of Bessie Blount...I really loved it
Stephanie
Aug 09, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it
The Queen’s Rival is a story of a young girl name Elizabeth “Bessie” Blount whose father was injured in one of Henry VIII’s war with a neighboring country. Her mother, a lady in Katherine of Argon’s household comes home to take care of her husband and Bessie, dreaming of court life, takes her place. She is a beautiful and intelligent girl who captures many at Henry VII’s court and eventually Henry himself. Bessie becomes his mistress and rival to the Queen. As the story is told Katherine of Argo ...more
Elle
Mar 23, 2014 Elle rated it really liked it
I loved this book. In fact, I lived this book so much I dedicated an entire school project to it. I designed and created a Gown for the character Elizabeth Blount.

Elizabeth is beautiful, enchanting, whimsical and innocent. The imagery used to describe her has stuck with me, Diane includes all the correct Tudor mannerisms of how a noble Lady should act, whilst still giving Bess a girlish and innocent manner too 'her rose skirts pooled around her'.

No this isn't a Tudor fact book, so It's not some
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Laurie
Mar 30, 2011 Laurie rated it liked it
Shelves: sold
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lizzie
Dec 11, 2013 Lizzie rated it really liked it
Bessie Blount was a sweet heart. She was a good natured girl from the countryside at Kinlet. She spent her whole childhood with her big family dreaming of a life of grander things at the Tudor court. Bess was naive in all the right places for Henry VIII to notice her upon her arrival at court. It really did not help Bess that the first friends she made were with Henry's current treat of the moment Elizabeth Bryan. I found that Bess was different than the previous women in Henry's life; she was n ...more
Marcie
Mar 02, 2011 Marcie rated it really liked it
Diane Haeger has written several historical fiction books but this is the first one I've read by her. I really liked this book so it's safe to say I will be reading more by her in the future. Especially since she writes about my favorite time in history. The story focuses on Elizabeth(Bess) Blount. Elizabeth comes to the court of Henry the VIII as a young, inexperienced girl from the country. She's grown up fantasizing about court life and about the King of England. She has to learn that things ...more
Taylor
Mar 24, 2011 Taylor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-my-bookshelf
Diane Haeger has done it again everyone! Haeger is an amazing writer who knows how to capture every minute detail. She peered into the life of King Henry VIII as a young man who is battling his emotions and learning how to control them. This is a new side of King Henry VIII that I haven’t seen portrayed be any other author. The book gets its name The Queen’s Rival because Queen Katherine views Bess as a threat to the king’s heart and soul, which she has lost due to her failure of providing a mal ...more
Caroline
I placed this on my "to-read" shelf because I can't say that I really read enough of it to count towards my 2013 challenge, but... I can't say that I'm ever going to read it, either. Or rather, finish it.

I don't remember much of my first attempt at Diane Haeger with The Perfect Royal Mistress, but I did give it two stars. Bessie Blount-related fiction, however, is really hard to find. So I decided to give this one a shot.

I'm used to historical fiction authors inflating their less-than-significan
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Amanda
Apr 26, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it
I have a strange on-again, off-again relationship with Diane Haeger, especially since she began her "In the Court of Henry VIII" series. And, much like Henry and his mistresses, I found myself enthralled at one moment, but completely uninterested the next. It's a rocky relationship, to say the least. I've liked how Haeger has done some things, but not others. In fact, after reading the first book in the series, The Secret Bride, I told myself that I was done with Haeger's books. Then, over a yea ...more
ZaBeth  Marsh
The Queen’s Rival is the third installment of Diane Haeger’s In the Court of Henry VIII series. It follows the teenage years of young Bessie Blount who suddenly finds herself a maid in Katherine of Aragon’s house hold when her father is hurt in battle and her mother returns to their country home to nurse him back to health.

Unprotected at court by her courtier parents, Bessie must learn court life from other teenage attendants. She soon finds herself fast-friends with Elizabeth Bryan, daughter t
...more
NayNay
Oct 24, 2012 NayNay rated it really liked it
I've read alot of books about Henry VIII, his court, and his wives. I watched all the movies. In all these books and movies we only get little snippits of Bessie Blount, finally someone tells her story.
Many years ago I read THE SECRET BRIDE by Diane Haeger and really enjoyed it. So when I was looking for yet another Tudor fiction book and came across THE QUEEN'S RIVAL I was really excited, finally the famous Mistress of Henry VIII Bessie Blount is the main character. Diane Haeger writes that Be
...more
Kristen
Jul 16, 2012 Kristen rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I don't know much from my own research about Bessie Blount, other than she was one of Henry VIII's mistresses and she did have a son with him. So I don't know how accurate the research was for this book. But I really liked how Bess was portrayed and felt she was a very likeable person. She would have been someone I would happily know in real life, someone who seemed kind and warm.

I enjoyed, too, the interpretation that Henry actually did love her and the toying with id
...more
Rosemary Hazard
Nov 23, 2013 Rosemary Hazard rated it really liked it
I found this a light, interesting read - like most historical fiction there are liberties taken by the author to add to the story but, all in all, I think this is a good book with more historical accuracy than most. It also reflects upon a well known but not often written about character in the Tudor history, namely, Bessie Blount, one of the most well known mistresses of Henry VIII an mother of his son who was the Duke of Richmond. The reader comes away with more of a sense of the young Henry a ...more
Bridgett
Feb 20, 2014 Bridgett rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book! It completely turned my thinking around. At first I didn't like Bess, but while reading this book, I fell right in love with her character. There were even a few times that I had to put the book down so I could CRY!! She was an amazing woman in this book! If you are a Tudor fan, this is a good read. Buy it :) It is one of my very favorites ever.
Larissa Nash
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kayla
Mar 13, 2014 Kayla rated it really liked it
I love historical romances, and Henry the 8th has always been a favorite historical figure of mine, so i went into reading this book with high hopes. I am happy to say i was not at all disappointed, it was wonderfully written, with a great plot.
Melissa
May 26, 2011 Melissa rated it it was amazing
I love Diane Haeger, but this is by far the best one I've read! The details and the story are so riveting it's very easy to get lost in this book. I found myself laughing and crying with the characters and since this is not my first Tudor novel, I found myself feeling sympathy for some characters I've never felt before. This book truly transports you into the Tudor world with all the drama and intrigue of Henry viii's court. It also brings you into the world of the young and innocent bess blount ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 09, 2015 10:30AM  
  • At the King's Pleasure  (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #4 )
  • Plain Jane
  • Pale Rose of England
  • At the Mercy of the Queen
  • Three Maids for a Crown
  • No Will But His: A Novel of Kathryn Howard
  • The Tudor Throne
  • Secrets of the Tudor Court
  • My Lady of Cleves: A Novel of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves
  • To Serve a King
  • The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr (Ladies in Waiting #2)
  • The Countess and the King: A Novel of the Countess of Dorchester and King James II
  • Rival to the Queen
  • The King's Daughter (Thornleigh, #2)
  • Murder Most Royal (Tudor Saga, #5)
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Diane Haeger is the author of thirteen historical novels, including Courtesan, The Ruby Ring and My Dearest Cecilia. She lives in California with her husband and family.
More about Diane Haeger...

Other Books in the Series

In The Court of Henry VIII (4 books)
  • The Secret Bride (In The Court of Henry VIII, #1)
  • The Queen's Mistake (In the Court of Henry VIII, #2)
  • I, Jane (In the Court of Henry VIII, #4)

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