At first, when I began this novel, I was a little worried that I could not keep the characters straight, thank goodness for the author principal charaAt first, when I began this novel, I was a little worried that I could not keep the characters straight, thank goodness for the author principal character key at the beginning of the book. As I read further, I grabbed a hold of the story and could not let go.
Constance of York is the main character of this novel-closely related to King Richard the II and Henry of Lancaster. Constance of York's life is forever in tormoil over her Lancastrian and Mortimer cousins. This story dwevles deep into the life at court, the love she had for her husband, Thomas Despenser, and her loyalty to King Richard II. Richly written, with details of the life at court, and the web of royal descendants and their courtiers-proves difficult for the reader to put down.
Historical England and the battle of the Lancasters and Plagenets could not be better told than "Within the Featherlock". Ranks up there with Sharon Penman's novels. ...more
I almost feel like I am missing something, I like this book, the first book, Wolf Hall, was more what I expected to read about. If you read the descriI almost feel like I am missing something, I like this book, the first book, Wolf Hall, was more what I expected to read about. If you read the descriptions of what this story is going to entail, it is not at all what is says its about. This story is entirely Thomas Cromwell's view of what happens in the downfall of Anne Boleyn. Is there any great disclosures or surprises? No, everything was as I have read before, but in the mind of Thomas Cromwell, who did everything for one person, his lord and king, Henry the VIII. There was very few musings on Anne Boleyn and what Thomas felt during this time period. It just dwells on Cromwell's position at court and what he must do to please Henry, the king, to rid himself of his current wife, who cannot seem to "beget" an heir to his throne. Thomas does his bidding and finds evidence, all circumstancial, and without compassion or doubts of any kind, as the servant of the King, he destroys the Boleyn family. This is what the story is about, a servant of the king of England, in layman's terms, "does his job", without remorse or emotions. This was Hilary's intent, to tell the story as Thomas Cromwell would of written himself. It justs didn't all fit with all the history I have read on this subject. In his examinations of the men who went down in history as the men who "dirtied" the Queen of England, seemed civil, and with no malice or torture. I just cannot believe Thomas Cromwell felt any emotion and just methodically had all these men and Anne Boleyn murdered for the sake of his king. In his privacy there is no mention of remorse or questions in his mind of how all this could of happened under the noses of all the courtiers and the king himself? It seems he was a very intelligent man who in some of his findings, that it didn't cross his mind that this was all a sham, a rouse. When I read the last page of the book, I was left saying, "is this it?"
There is no question this is a well written book, prolific and draws you in from the start, but left me in a quandry. I love historical fiction and will probably read more of H. Mantel books if there is a sequel. I just hope she makes Thomas more "human" than a "subject" of the king....more
This is a "novelle"-fast paced story about the life of a vampire, Shiva, and her relationship with a "slayer" Desmond. This is a quick read for the avThis is a "novelle"-fast paced story about the life of a vampire, Shiva, and her relationship with a "slayer" Desmond. This is a quick read for the avid reader full of fantasy and erotic adventures-including unlikely friends come lovers. This is a glimpse into a world where vampires, slayers, werewolves and dark people interact, drawing the reader into a fantasy ridden adventure-not for the faint of heart. This story could easily been reopened with a prequel,to broaden our imaginations into this dark world. I look forward to Wendy Callahan's future writings, for this is just the beginning of her writing career....more
This was a "perchance" book I found at my local Goodwill Store. It is a poignant story during the reign of King Louis XIV. A peasant women determinedThis was a "perchance" book I found at my local Goodwill Store. It is a poignant story during the reign of King Louis XIV. A peasant women determined to present her daughter, Margerite, to the king's court. Being successful, we get to peek at the life at court and romance that developes within the court of the King. The rich details of the court and their lifestyles, dress, and the royal scandals is riveting. I resarche Rosalind Laker and discovered she wrote more historical "romances' but not the cheesy, harlequin stories. Her inter-twinning fiction and real history is a fancinating read. I recommend her to any historical fiction fan. The scandal of King Lois's court will amaze you-he has more bastard children than legal heirs. Rosalind Laker is a master at her story telling of days gone by, to enchant me such as she did, I can't wait to read her other novels....more
Thomas Cromwell, began as the clerk of Cardinal Wosley- King Henry VIII's chief adviser. With his political genius, charming demeanor, he replaces WosThomas Cromwell, began as the clerk of Cardinal Wosley- King Henry VIII's chief adviser. With his political genius, charming demeanor, he replaces Wosley, after the Cardinal fails to secure a divorce for Henry, so he can marry Anne Boleyn. This is the story of Thomas Cromwell, his family, his struggles and the diabolical political schemes Thomas uses to secure his place-the right hand of the King of England. Not well liked, Thomas Cromwell befriends Anne, the future queen of England and secures his allies in the realm. It is a true peek at English History, told through the eyes of an "plain" man, son of a Blacksmith-rising to power of Henry confidant and chief adviser. There were times where characters pop up out of no where, confusing me- but Hilary Mantel put a character list at the beginning of the book, explaining his or her role in history. Not a light read, its imagery and historical facts can sometimes confuse but enlighten you to the Tudor era. When I read other books on Henry the VIII, Thomas Cromwell was never introduced- his past and current life outside the castles of the English king were never told. He was a very intelligent, thought provoking man-courage beyond belief-but a manipulator of politics during England turbulent rule of Henry the VIII. Very interesting book-Hilary Mantel deserved the Man Booker award for this one-her writing style proves to be engrossing-and true to the English vogue....more
Catherine de Medici was known as a seer(witch)by some, but to others she was the savior or the French Monarchy. She was sent from Italy, betrothed toCatherine de Medici was known as a seer(witch)by some, but to others she was the savior or the French Monarchy. She was sent from Italy, betrothed to Henri II, and becomes the Queen of France. With Henri, it was no love match. She was in the shadow of his mistress, Diane Portieres. But still, Henri and Catherine have 6 children together, and Catherine secures the throne for her sons. It is a poignant story, told through the voice of Catherine-a brave strong woman who determination to keep her sons in the French monarchy. It was a good story, but now I have read 2 sides of the story. I read of Diane Portieres, and her influence on King Henri II, and Catherine's rule after Henri's death. My heart says Diane was Henri's true love, but my mind Henri saw his future heirs depended on his queen, Catherine. I would recommend this book to fellow "historical fiction" readers. It is rich in detail about royal life, and morbid bloody battles of the war between Protestants and the Old Religion- the Catholics. I felt transcended in time-C.W. Gortner writing style is poignant and enriched with detail. Recommend! ...more
This is the third Penman book about the lives of Henry the II and Eleanor Aquitaine. The children of Henry and Eleanor rebel against Henry, their fathThis is the third Penman book about the lives of Henry the II and Eleanor Aquitaine. The children of Henry and Eleanor rebel against Henry, their father. Hal, the first born and soon to be king, becomes co-regent with his father's blessing. But soon to realize it doesn't actually mean anything for Hal. He is consistently demeaned by his father. Eleanor is outraged by the treatment of her sons by their King and father- the rebellion begins. Henry banishes Eleanor and imprisons her, keeping her from her beloved sons. The soon to be King, Hal, venomously tries to usurp the king and free his mother. This is the 3rd book of the series, 1st is When Christ and His Saints Slept, Time and Chance-second, and this being the 3rd. I devoured these books. Engrossing and enchanting, depicting the medieval history of these characters, drawing you into their world and a time of turbulence, war, royalty, and the dysfunction of this realm. Sharon Kay Penman is a master of historical fiction. Her stories draw you in and keep you enthralled. When reading these books, I feel myself envisioning the castles, the gallantry, their world. I recommend all 3 books if you like historical fiction. But be warned, once you start, you won't be able to put it down.......more