Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The King's Rose” as Want to Read:
The King's Rose
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The King's Rose

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  1,316 ratings  ·  198 reviews
Life in the court of King Henry VIII is a complex game. When fifteen-year-old Catherine Howard catches the king's eye, she quickly transforms from pawn to queen. But even luxury beyond imagination loses its luster as young Catherine finds her life--and her heart--threatened by the needs of an aging king and a family hungry for power. Will their agendas deliver Catherine to ...more
Hardcover, 297 pages
Published March 19th 2009 by Dutton Books for Young Readers (first published February 12th 2009)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The King's Rose, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Candy Zheng I think is not appropriate. Even not details about sex, but mention it many times. Seduce the king to get pregnant, commit adultery...etc.
I think is not appropriate. Even not details about sex, but mention it many times. Seduce the king to get pregnant, commit adultery...etc.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,316 ratings  ·  198 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The King's Rose
Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Libby, Alisa. M. 2009. (March 2009) THE KING'S ROSE. Dutton. 296.

The King's Rose is one of those books that just captured my attention (and my heart!). It is a fictionalized account of Catherine Howard, and for those not in the know, she was the fifth wife of Henry VIII. Catherine Howard was just fifteen (perhaps even fourteen) when she caught the lusty eyes of the King. (And Henry liked them young.) Catherine's tale is tragic in that while the king chose her...she quite honestly didn't have a c
Mar 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
I love "The Tudors" and "The Other Boleyn Girl," so when I saw this book about one of Henry VIII's later wives I had to read it... a sneak peek into "The Tudors" season 5.

The story of Catherine's rise to the position of queen isn't much described; the story begins as Catherine is heading to be married to the king even as he divorces his 4th wife. Catherine's youth (she is only 15 when is married) plays a big part in her rise, as she is chosen for her looks by her family to entice the king, and f
Apr 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Born into the ambitious Howard family, Catherine has never had much control over her life and fate. Her cousin, the infamous Anne Boleyn, lured King Henry VIII into marriage then met a grisly end. Hoping for a marriage that will benefit the family, Catherine’s relatives send her to court in 1540, when she is fifteen. There, Catherine catches the eye of the king, who decides to divorce his current wife, Anne of Cleves, and marry her. Though Catherine would prefer to marry for love, one does not r ...more
Small Review
Solid. I wish this author had a backlog I could read through. I'd love for her to write the other wives' stories.

Originally posted at Small Review

Catherine Howard is not a Henry VIII wife I've given much thought toward. My initial introductions to her were not very positive, nor did they go into much depth. Basically, Catherine was a fluffy headed wonton who died because she cheated on the king. The end.

Except, when is a person ever that simple?

Well, shame on me for not putting much thought in
Jun 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I loved Alisa Libby's story about Catherine Howard, Henry VIII's 5th wife. It is a tragic story of a young girl of 15 who is used by her family, loved by a king and betrayed by her past.

One of the things made clear in this novel is the greed of the main players at court, the Howard's and the Seymour's. This poor girl never had a chance, the Seymour's wanted her dead so that Jane's son Edward would be King and as he was only 4 years old one of them would be the caretaker of the crown. These famil
Dec 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This, quite frankly, was not a book I enjoyed reading (hence the three stars.) It is, however, a great book.

A few points:

1) The protagonist Catherine, as one of Henry VII's wives, is doomed from the start, and the author is unflinching in addressing this.

2) The prose can be a bit heavy-handed at times, too noticeable, too prosy. Mostly, though, it's smooth; different in exactly the right way, always reminding you while you read that the book is historical, but not distracting you from the story.
Apr 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Alisa Libby tackles the events of Henry VIII's fifth marriage, and takes a shot, like so many historical fiction writers before and after her, at getting into the main player's heads. This isn't the best re-creation of the historic events, but it is a very good story, suggesting Katherine perhaps wasn't as stupid as everyone thinks. I don't agree with all the choices Libby makes with her characters, (Thomas's character, for example, is way too softened - let us not forget he was a rapist) but I ...more
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of HF and the Tudors
First off, I'd like to say I hate when Katherine Howard is depicted as either a stupid twit or a wanton slut. Luckily, that wasn't the case with this novel.

While we know virtually nothing about the unfortunate fifth Queen of Henry VIII, I tend to think of her as a victim of her family, of her King and husband and of her youth. She was a young girl thrown into marriage with an old man and while I don't think she was stupid, I do think she was naive. I think she wanted the freedom to be what she
Aug 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recently I've been reading a lot of historical fiction, and it's hard to tell which are going to be good, and which are the duds.

Happily, this one turned out well.

I've always been interested by Katherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth and youngest wife. She always struck me as a girl too young (or perhaps just too silly) to maneuver through the treacherous waters of the Tudor court. This is that story.

Katherine is caught up in her family's machinations as they try to re-create the power they held w
Sakinah Azmi
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My review -

Amazing. It is just an amazing historical fiction book. And this is going to be a bit long review..or maybe a lot lol

It is a remarkable story of King Henry VIII's fifth wife (and for those who don't know, he had 6 wives), Catherine Howard. She was married to the King at the age of fifteen (when the King was nearly 50) and was executed under the charge of adultery approximately two years after her marriage with the King. This book is told from C
Angela Simmons
Dec 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
In “The King’s Rose”, author Alisa M. Libby brings to life the fifth wife of King Henry VIII.

Born into a family that was notorious for using the women of their family as stepping stones to enhance their status at court, young Catherine Howard becomes their pawn in the devious game of court elevation. Allowed to behave in an unscrupulous manner while living in the house of her grandmother the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, Catherine must now burn her past and pretend it never existed. Knowing that t
Laura Navarre
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of historical fiction, Tudor fiction (e.g., Philippa Gregory)
Despite the lavish abundance of Tudor stories (including mine!) that currently occupy the market, I’m a helpless slave to the period and can’t help reading just about all of them. So it was with The King’s Rose, which tells the brief, tragic story of Catherine Howard—Henry VIII’s fifth queen and the second he beheaded—at the tender age of sixteen.

Every author has her own take on the doomed, romantic figures of Henry’s many queens. Alisa M. Libby’s first person account of Catherine’s rise and fa
Dec 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before in previous reviews, but I'm a huge history buff, so when it comes to historical fiction reads, I'm always up for them, epically when they involve the Tudor time period. And when I heard of The King's Rose and how it had both of those aspects, I was overjoyed, and the cover was stunning to boot. Sadly enough, this is one those times were the cover was better than the actual contents inside.

The King's Rose tells the tale of Catherine Howard, the fifth w
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Jan 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: Alisa M. Libby
A historical fiction book about Catherine Howard, the 5th wife of Henry VIII and the most enigmatic in my opinion. I am fast deciding that Catherine Howard is the most fascinating of Henry's wives. She was the only one of his wives to never have her portrait painted, which kind of symbolizes her whole marriage to Henry. It was like it wasn't even there. She was also his youngest wife, and as such, she has been portrayed as everything from a complete harlot to a naive teenager, with the truth mos ...more
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
Firstly, many thanks go to Ms. Libby for sending me a copy of her book! I really enjoyed reading it, as you will see...

Well, I imagine that if you had any dreams of being the queen of England, you would likely reconsider them after reading this novel. Libby's breathtaking presentation of Catherine Howard's story certainly gives a revealing account of what it likely would have been like to be a young queen in Tudor England. There is nothing romantic about the life Catherine is forced to lead--she
Catherine Howard's arrival at Court entices Henry VIII away from unwanted Queen Anne of Cleves. But Catherine has secrets about her past that she must keep hidden at all costs to keep her crown and her head.

I read this book months ago and I'm only just getting my review online now. I enjoyed this novel about the 5th Queen and while there is no fresh content in the story, I liked the simplistic way that the story was told with no complicated bits. Whether it is correct in all historical facts and
Aug 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
I was pretty excited to find a YA book from the POV of Catherine Howard. Given that she was 15 when she married Henry VIII, she actually lends herself well to YA, and it was refreshing to read about the thoughts of a teenage girl on being a pawn in her family's power games, and being married to a man old enough to be her father, rather than from the treatment I usually see of her in historical fiction. I think Libby did an excellent job capturing both this aspect of it, as well as the uncertaint ...more
Mar 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The stories of King Henry VIII his wives, and his children have to be some of my favorite ever! I absolutely love that time period in English History. So needless to say I was really excited to read this book!

This is the story of King Henry's fifth wife, and one of the ones that is less heard of. I really enjoyed learning more about Catherine Howard, I enjoyed seeing her relationship and confusion during her marriage with Henry, Alisa Libby really shows the doubts that Catherine must have felt
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this so much more than I thought I would.

It was very well told and I'll be honest I guess like most people I knew very little about Catherine Howard.

The poor thing, she was really only a child with no real ambitions bar having a good time & not really fully realising the repercussions of her actions.

She was a tool for her family's ambition and as with Anne Boleyn before was just as disposable.

The author really managed to convey the panic any bride of Henry's must of felt. Pressure to k
May 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
If anyone knows anything about English history, then they most likely know about Henry VIII. If the know about any of his wives it would probably be the most notorious one, Anne Boleyn, the tragic queen that Henry split off from the Roman Catholic Church for. The mother of the woman who would have an era named after her(Elizabethan).
But few know about her cousin, Catherine Howard, who meets an equally disturbing fate. Her predicament of marriage is almost even worse- she was fifteen and in love
The King's Rose was definitely an interesting read. I didn't know much about Catherine Howard other than the fact that she was one of King Henry VIII's six wives. I didn't know she was related to Anne Boleyn, nor did I know Catherine was only fifteen at the time of her marriage.

There are all kinds of historical facts throughout this story that made it interesting. And there's personality added to the character most people despise in some way: the King himself. The man married six women, killed t
Mar 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
The story of Catherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife.

I really enjoyed this. I think I have a soft spot for Tudor England and the court of Henry VIII. I was a bit worried that this was going to be too much romance and not enough history (from the book jacket) but it wasn't at all. I commented early on to a friend that I wished I knew more history so I would know what happened before I read it - and then she told me and I wished I hadn't asked! But, the book was very well done. I think Catherine
Jun 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
Review in 75 words or less: A throughly enjoyable historical fiction novel. I found this novel to be a breath of fresh air in a sometimes dry and/or dull genre. The plot was well researched, and the reader can tell that the author cares very much about the topic as well as the characters, both fictional and historical.While the whole novel was great, it was the ending that had me amazed. It was filled with breathtaking emotions that will move you.

Final verdict: A lovely historical novel which fo
Dec 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written historical fiction on Catherine Howard, King Henry VIII's fifth wife, and his rose without a thorn. It chronicles Catherine's rapid rise from lady-in-waiting to Henry's queen, where a series of mistakes (her affair with Thomas Culpeper, among others) lead to her downfall.

The final chapters dealing with her imprisonment and eventual death were superbly written - my favorite scenes are when Catherine is visited by her cousin Anne Boleyn's ghost, and the very last scene in the n
Feb 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: young adults, history lovers, Kathryn Howard fans
I really enjoyed reading it, a fresh look at the life and trials of Kathryn Howard. Alisa Libby did a great job in bringing the hardship of being a young girl married to a king much less an older man and the yearning to live life and experience all the things it offered. I also liked how Henry wasn't made out to be a mad-monster but a man with weakness' and the illusion of regaining his youth through his young wife.

Altogether 4.5 stars!! Job well done Alisa!!
Yin Chien 인첸
Nov 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Catherine Howard, King Henry’s 'rose without a thorn' was only fifteen years old when she caught the his lustful eye. Her life changed that very moment. She was introduced to a glamorous and luxurious world which she had not encountered before she became Queen. At first, she found it interesting to pamper herself with gorgeous, specially-tailored gowns and dresses, exquisite, one-of-a-kind jewels and indulge herself in elaborate revelries.

It was not long before she realized the truth that she wa
Oct 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, young-adult
As someone whose love of history (especially the Tudors) dates back to her early teens, I was really looking forward to reading this book aimed at readers aged 14 and up. I did find the book to be an engaging treatment of the story of Catherine Howard's marriage, especially as she is so often overlooked in favor of her more flamboyant predecessor. The writing was crisp and the pacing of the book was excellent.

I also think Libby did a wonderful job capturing the voice of her 15 year-old protagon
Jan 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Young Catherine Howard is brought to Court by the scheming Howard family to catch the roving eye of Henry VIII. Henry determines to dump current wife Anne of Cleves and marry the beauteous Catherine - although Catherine has a few secrets from her past that soon come back to haunt her. Desperate to give Henry the son he desires and thus secure her tenuous position at Court, Catherine takes drastic measures - aided by Jane Rochfort, widow of Anne Boleyn's brother George.

This is all pretty much kn
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
The King's Rose, by Alisa M. Libby, tells the tale of King Henry VIIII's fifth wife, Catherine Howard. It begins as Catherine remembers her cousin, Anne Boleyn, as King Henry's second wife and her ultimate downfall. Catherine dreams of becoming the fifth wife of Henry and giving Henry what his previous wives couldn't give him, a son. The book continues on, artfully describing Catherine's rise to power and her disgrace, just like Anne. This historical novel weaves together the life of one of thos ...more
Nov 19, 2014 rated it liked it
So I don't know what to say about this book. I actually liked it a lot. I really want to give it four stars, but at the same time there was a lot of stuff in this book that I didn't like or was awkward to read about. I've noticed I tend to be drawn to books about the medieval era and books about king Henry and his many wives...

Anyway, Catherine Howard is a name that was not familiar to me but because of this book I now know her story. This book has taken someones whose life has long been forgot
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary Queen of Scots (Young Royals, #7)
  • Anna of Kleve: The Princess in the Portrait (Six Tudor Queens, #4)
  • Mary, Bloody Mary (Young Royals, #1)
  • Beware, Princess Elizabeth (Young Royals, #2)
  • The Redheaded Princess
  • Eliza Rose
  • Patience, Princess Catherine (Young Royals, #4)
  • The Lady in the Tower
  • Doomed Queen Anne (Young Royals, #3)
  • Catherine, Called Birdy
  • An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason
  • All the Queen's Players
  • The Falconer's Knot: A Story of Friars, Flirtation and Foul Play
  • Alison Weir Six Tudor Queens Collection 4 Books Set (Katherine of Aragon The True Queen, Jane Seymour The Haunted Queen, Anne Boleyn A King's Obsession, Anna of Kleve Queen of Secrets [Hardcover])
  • The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog
  • A Dangerous Inheritance
  • The Light in the Labyrinth
  • Rabenlady
See similar books…
Hi there, it's me, Alisa. I write this bio blurb just one week before the release of my second book, The King's Rose. The feeling of waiting for a book's publication has been likened to standing in line for a very large rollercoaster, which I think is an apt description. Anxiety aside, I'm really thrilled to share this book with everyone: it's historical fiction about Catherine Howard, the fifth w ...more

Related Articles

The must-read summer beach book is a kind of American tradition. The crash of the waves. The glare of the sun. The sand in the pages. Is t...
47 likes · 20 comments