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The King's Curse (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #7)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  15,755 Ratings  ·  1,576 Reviews
Lady-in-waiting Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, has spent her entire life attempting to deny her own royal blood and Plantagenet name while in service of the Tudor court. Her proximity and understanding of the court give her a unique view of Henry VIII's stratospheric rise to power in Tudor England.
England is under a Tudor king. Henry VII, has two sons with Elizabeth
ebook, 624 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Touchstone (first published August 2014)
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Gail No, you can read any of them out of order. But do read this one ... I don't know how Gregory does it ... this is another fabulous read!
Mary Yes, I started the Cousin's War book 1 and read them all in order. This follows the characters through the proper years. Then I went to the Tudor…moreYes, I started the Cousin's War book 1 and read them all in order. This follows the characters through the proper years. Then I went to the Tudor Court Books 1 and on. This is not how they were published, but best to read in this order. I love learning history this way and Philippa Gregory is a fantastic writer. She lists her history sources at he end of each book.(less)
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Community Reviews

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First thing’s first, I do have to say I think The King’s Curse is better than The Kingmaker’s Daughter and The White Princess. The Kingmaker’s Daughter had what was, for me, a really grating first person voice and I simply could not care for what happened to Anne Neville and her obviously skewed world view. With The White Princess it was simply a case of boredom. The character of Elizabeth of York in that novel was dull and uninteresting, and I grew weary of her constant recycled conversations w
Jan 25, 2013 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love English history-but don't like dry history-read these books. Phillippa Gregory has a wonderful way of making English history come alive.
Jul 15, 2014 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as an advanced reading copy to give it an honest review (may contain spoilers).

This is the 6th book in the Cousins War series and the one which most closely entwines itself with the Tudor Series that Philippa Gregory had previously written. It focuses on Margaret Pole, the daughter of the Duke of Clarence, who was executed by drowning in a vat of wine. She was a Plantagenet Princess and this book covers the period (1499-1541) in time from when Katharine of Aragon comes to En
I loved Philippa Gregory's books once. I still love some of her earlier works, either because I was younger when I read them and my tastes have since changed, or because she simply wrote with more skill, and more care then. Either way, her last few works, indeed, every one that has covered the Cousins' War, have been a complete and utter disappointment to me. She has become a prolific writer in the sense that she will churn out a new book every year, or every second year, but the protagonist in ...more
For staunch Tudor lovers, the name Margaret Pole is not an unfamiliar one. Yet, even though the Countess of Salisbury was smack-dab in the middle of courtly drama; she seems to play a side note in most books. Phillippa Gregory brings Pole to the forefront in her latest historical fiction novel, “The King’s Curse”.

Before I even proceed further, I want to make something clear for those who aren’t regular readers of my reviews: I do not think of Gregory as a God nor of her work as the Bible. Her bo
Who is ever going to find the courage to name what is more and more clear: that the king does not see the world as it is, that his vision is unreal, that-though it is treason to say it-the king is quite mad.

At first I thought that I may have read too many Henry VIII novels, as everything felt very familiar, but as I got further into the book I understood why Philippa Gregory decided to use Margaret Plantagenet as the narater. It allows a much wider view of this era, as well as Henry. Most of her
Now that it's been published, I'm moving my comment into the review space.

I'm starting to feel that all my reviews for the books in this series could be copy/pasted.

The format of 1st person narrator giving a chronology of events still isn't working. Gregory's language needs to be more layered and the character voices more distinct. Otherwise, it reads like a boring recitation of who said and did what with the only distinguishing characteristics between the various players being their names.

Her w
Sep 02, 2014 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have great respect for any author that can make history "cool" and as such I am a huge Philippa Gregory Fangirl. I have read all of her Tudor Court and Cousins War novels and unfortunately I must say that this was my least favourite of hers. The quality of writing is still just as high as all of her other works, but I found Margaret Pole to be an unlikable character...and I'm saying this as someone who has read The Other Boleyn Girl

I think I may also have disliked this book a little simply bec
Jan 07, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The queen of historical fiction is in fine form with the tale of Margaret Pole, cousin of Elizabeth of York and her terrible fate at the hands of Henry VIII. In The Kings Curse, Philippa Gregory throws of the old adage that history is written by the victors and gives a voice to those lost in the bloody struggle between the houses of York and Lancaster.

Spanning 40 years and charting the brutal rise of the Tudors, this expansive novel is narrated by the last York princess Margaret who as an heir t
Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
Hmmmm....what did I think? Well first off, I haven't read any of the other "Cousins Of War" books and by the reviews,
you either love the series or hate it. I never read a trilogy/series backwards or in another order because I always feel I "miss" something that way. So..the only reason I have done so was because my library got it in (the hold would be forever and I got it first) and I know nothing about Margaret Pole. And this can be read as a "stand on it's own."
The setting for the story is 15t
Sarah u
DEC 2014: I've had this given to me for a Christmas gift (2014), so it looks like I'll be reading it after all.

JAN 2015: Well, I think I've given this book a good shot, but I can't read any more. I DNF at 59%.

I just cannot get on with Gregory's newer work. This book plodded along, racing through the life of Margaret Pole without creating any emotional connection, any excitement, or any tension. It was just there, repeating itself endlessly (we are the White Rose, reminders of people's names an
Philippa Gregory's The King's Curse is the 6th book in her Cousin's War series. Seen thru the eyes of Margaret Pole, a Plantagenet of royal blood, she narrates about the struggles of the Plantagenets, House of York, during King Henry VIII's reign.

Gregory has done some painstakingly detailed historical research for this book. It's quite well done with many historical characters like Cromwell and Wolsey. The reader gets a good look at what it was like to live in those times. The King's Curse is fi
May 27, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was very lucky to have received an ARC from Touchstone in exchange for an honest review.

This final book in The Cousin’s War epic series by Philippa Gregory is told from the POV of Lady Margaret Pole, daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, who was executed for treason by his own brother, King Edward IV. Lady Pole is a beloved cousin to King Henry VIII’s mother, Queen Elizabeth of York, but because of her royal blood, seeks to stay in the background so as to draw as little attention to herself an
Bookdragon Sean
This is a poor conclusion to a disproportionate series in terms of quality. The Red Queen was fantastic, The White Queen was enthralling but the Kingmakers daughter was bland. The White Princess sat somewhere in the middle whereas this was just uninspiring.

Perhaps I am fed up with Philippa Gregory’s bland tone or perhaps I’ve just read too many of her books. This felt rushed: King Henry goes from young promising King to brutal tyrant in a few hundred pages. With the first three books we have th
Diane S ☔
Mar 03, 2014 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last book in the Cousin's War series and a very good way to end. Using Margaret Pole as her narrator created the opportunity forma somewhat wider view of this period. As she was Elizabeth of York's cousin and guardian to the young couple Catherine of Aragón and the Prince of Wales. Later lady in waiting to Queen Catherine. Royal in her own right she led a stressful life, tight roping her way between first Henry the seventh and then the whims of his infantile son when he became king.

It also p
Jul 29, 2014 ``Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone interested in learning more about the life of Margaret Pole, the daughter of George Plantagenet, the 1st Duke of Clarence and Isabella Neville, eldest daughter of the Kingmaker, will find Philippa Gregory's research interesting and informative.

May 29, 2014 Kara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 03, 2015 Marian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

The intriguing tale of Margaret Pole

The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory is the final novel in The Cousins' War series that began with The White Princess, The Kingmaker's Daughter, The Lady of the Rivers, The Red Queen and The White Queen. This concluding novel is about Margaret Pole, the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, who was executed for treason by his own brother, King Edward IV. This tale is set between 1499-1541, the years when Katharine of Aragon became Queen of England until her d
Rio (Lynne)
2 1/2 stars. I's fiction, but PG stands by her fiction like its fact and that's what bothers me. It's one thing to write fictional characters, it's another to defame real people. I take serious issue with that, especially when there is no truth or evidence to back up her so called facts. I read this book because it's about Margaret Pole. I wanted to hear her story. I went into this realizing PG takes lots of liberties. What annoyed me about the writing.....the constant reminders and sl ...more
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
An Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes pulled from the ARC may be incorrect and may be subject to change.

It was remarkable to see the downfall of King Henry VIII told in the eyes of his cousin Margaret. The division of the Catholic Church, how it affected the villages and citizens, his philandering ways and even more wives than one can count. It was all in this book, and I couldn't stop reading. The book is written from the eyes of Margaret, and she's telling al
Mar 14, 2015 Cher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars - It was great. I loved it.

An excellent end to the series! The author has a knack for bringing historical figures to life and I always looked forward to returning to this book while reading it.

I always learn something new when I read Philippa Gregory's book. With this one, I found this excerpt from the Author's Note to be particularly intriguing:

Current interesting research from Catrina Banks Whitley and Kyra Kramer suggests that Henry may have had the rare Kell positive blood type, whi
Sep 17, 2014 Marialyce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderfully interesting story of Henry VIII told through the eyes of Margaret Poole his aunt and a Member of the Plantagenet family. It was a harrowing tale for this family who claimed to have had the throne wrestled from them by Henry Tudor. It had just the right mixture of history and the cunning vile nature of the at that time British aristocracy. Always jockeying for position and ever mindful of the whims of a king who declared himself both above man and god, this book was a through look int ...more
Mar 16, 2014 M1ssb3rry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This started off very slow, but it got sooo interesting!
I love the portrayal of Margaret Pole's life but it was sooo sad!
I didnt realise that Henry VIII had gotten sooo insane!
It was another good book by Ms Gregory :D
Tempo de Ler
Sep 22, 2015 Tempo de Ler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
«Como pode alguém ser leal a um louco?» (p. 544)

Recentemente «coroado» como o pior monarca de sempre pela Historical Writers Association, Henrique VIII é a peça central deste romance de Philippa Gregory - A Maldição do Rei. Esta nossa viagem pela História começa na viragem do século, em 1499, quando Inglaterra depositava as suas esperanças no promissor herdeiro Artur, cujo casamento com Catarina de Aragão serviria para solidificar as relações com Espanha.

Como já é habitual nos trabalhos de Phili
Nov 18, 2013 J8J8 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5 estrelas

Apesar de ser grande fã desta autora e, em particular desta saga, este foi dos livros que menos gostei (para além de A Rainha Vermelha). Para isto contribuíram diversos fatores como por exemplo os erros com a qual me deparei ao longo da leitura. Lamento, mas atribuírem o sexo masculino a um certo objeto do sexo feminino é mau por si só, mas fazerem isto mais de uma vez não se perdoa. Penso que erros como estes deviam ser evitados, em particular quando decorrem com uma certa frequênci
Aug 06, 2013 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Henry the king goes too fast for me in a way that Henry the prince never did. For Henry the prince was quick and clever but Henry the king is as fast and as cunning as a madman: wildly decisive.'

(view spoiler)
Sep 01, 2014 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You would think after all the books written about the Tudors, specifically King Henry VIII and his wives, one would eventually become a little bored. After all, haven't we heard/read/seen it all before?

I must admit that thought crossed my mind before starting The King's Curse, but the page turning appeal of this historical novel disproved that idea completely. Apart from a couple of very brief places that lagged a little, this book had me staying up late at night turning pages right to the very
Alannah Clarke
The novel follows Margaret Pole, a cousin of Henry VII's wife, Elizabeth Woodville. I honestly don't think I have heard of Margaret Pole so I was immediately intrigued for Gregory to write historical fiction about her. At first I thought the novel was really part of Gregory's Tudor series which was completed before the War of the Roses series but as I read further the novel appears to act as a sort of stepping stone between both series and ties them together in a chronological way.

The novel foll
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
In Gregory's Cousins' War series, the last book focused on Elizabeth of York; however, in The King's Curse our protagonist is Lady Margaret Pole, Elizabeth of York's cousin. It has been rumored that her cousin Elizabeth and Elizabeth's mother cursed the Tudors so they wouldn't have any healthy male heirs. Instead of Margaret marrying someone of royal blood, as she should, she is married off to a knight and is in charge of the Prince of Wales, Arthur, Henry VIII's brother. Arthur is a good person ...more
Jo Ann
Sep 24, 2014 Jo Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read a lot of Philippa Gregory's novels, and enjoyed them, I must say there is something about this one that I truly loved. Told in the first person, by Margaret Pole/Plantagenets, her take on the times and court of Henry is astounding, although very horrifying, as was his reign. I think the fact that she wasn't one of the "main players," not one of his wives, or Cornwell, or Thomas More, etc., made her view as a mother, grandmother, lady of the court, very real and wonderful - if one can ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • I, Jane (In the Court of Henry VIII, #4)
  • Pale Rose of England: A Novel of the Tudors
  • A Dangerous Inheritance
  • Sisters of Treason (The Tudor Trilogy, #2)
  • The King's Grace
  • The Tudor Rose
  • The Forbidden Queen
  • The Agincourt Bride (Catherine de Valois, #1)
  • The Sixth Wife (Tudor Saga, #7)
  • A King's Ransom (Plantagenets #5)
  • Plain Jane
  • The Summer Queen (Eleanor of Aquitaine, #1)
  • The Boleyn Reckoning (The Boleyn Trilogy, #3)
  • Rival to the Queen
Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acc ...more
More about Philippa Gregory...

Other Books in the Series

The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Lady of the Rivers (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #1)
  • The White Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #2)
  • The Red Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #3)
  • The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #4; The Cousins' War #4)
  • The White Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #5; The Cousins' War #5)
  • The Constant Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #6)
  • Three Sisters, Three Queens (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #8)
  • The Other Boleyn Girl (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #9)
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #10)
  • The Taming of the Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #11)

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“She’s like an anchor that he has forgotten, but still it keeps him steady.” 1 likes
“Life is a risk, who knows this better than me? Who knows more surely that babies die easily, that children fall ill from the least cause, that royal blood is fatally weak, that death walks behind my family like a faithful black hound?” 1 likes
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