Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Queen's Lady (Thornleigh, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Queen's Lady (Thornleigh, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Queen's Lady

(Thornleigh #1)

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  2,152 Ratings  ·  177 Reviews
Abducted as a child-heiress, Honor Larke escapes to London seeking justice from the only lawyer she knows: the brilliant Sir Thomas More. With More as her affectionate guardian, Honor grows to womanhood, when the glitter of the royal court lures her to attend Her Majesty, Queen Catherine of Aragon. But life at Henry VIII’s court holds more than artifice for an intelligent ...more
Paperback, 530 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Kensington Publishing Corporation (first published September 1st 1994)
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 Queen's Lady, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Queen's Lady

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Nov 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Where I got the book: freebie at the HNS conference in London this year. Signed.

Plot: Pay attention, Dear Reader. The blurb is not a bit like the book I read. Here's how I see it: As a young child, Honor Larke watches her father die excommunicated and robbed by the evil priest Bastwick. She is taken away by a nasty nobleman (name irrelevant as I don't think he has much to do with the rest of the book) to be married to his son for her fortune. Years later, with the help of a faithful servant, she
Sep 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I found Barbara Kyle’s The Queen’s Lady to be a bit hit & miss. On the positive side there were a lot of twist and turns to the story, which keeps you guessing what is going to happen next. The Tudor history is captivating in itself and this story just shows another viewpoint of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and the political and religious players of the time. On the negative side there was a loss of coherency to the story, as it seemed the author wanted to present all the differing religious view ...more
Oct 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like more history with their romance
I was pleasantly surprised by this book, thinking it would be a straight by-the-numbers romance. It's actually more a theological drama with some intrigue, a bit of romance, and adventure. The heroine, Honor Larke, is Thomas More's ward (which provides some hokey sinful thoughts on Sir Tom's part) and she gets swept up in the Catholic vs. Protestant upheavals. She engages in long-distance dissertations with Erasmus, and is quite a bright girl, but not preciously so. The final part of the book fi ...more
A Aia da Rainha é um romance histórico que conta a história de Honor Larke, uma jovem que, após ter ficado sem família, se torna protegida do famoso Thomas More e, mais tarde, ascende ao cargo de aia da rainha Catarina de Aragão na altura em que Henrique VIII começou a luta com a Igreja para conseguir o divórcio e casar com Ana Bolena. Este livro é o primeiro da série Tornleigh e, segundo a informação na badana do livro, o segundo, A Filha do Rei, irá ser publicado em breve por cá. O terceiro, T ...more
May 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ler o A Aia da Rainha veio confirmar e realçar o meu gosto pelos romances históricos. Barbara Kyle é uma óptima contadora de história, principalmente se esta contiver muitos factos reais.
Começando pela capa, com o genial pormenor do anel, e pela sinopse, um pouco infiel ao livro, somos conquistados desde o primeiro olhar ao exemplar. O conteúdo vem apenas mostrar-nos que não nos enganámos e que cada segundo a ler estas linhas não foi tempo desperdiçado.
Todo o texto é rico em figuras de estilo, c
Dianna Rostad
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: most-loved
I finished reading The Queen's Lady over holiday break, and it is easily the best book I've read all year. Kyle tells her thought-provoking story from both sides of the conflict between the Catholic and Protestant churches. There is a profound message in this book about faith and organized religion that gives it real soul.

Honor Larke is a lady in waiting, to Queen Catherine of Aragon. But do not think for a moment this is a simple book about a maid at court, sewing tears in Queen Catherine’s sk
Emily (Book Jems)
I am not a history buff. The only thing that I remember about King Henry is that he liked to chop of his wives' heads. And that is all I got out of that lecture in high school.

But this book was more than just history. Albeit, there was a lot, though no more than expected from reading the blurb. The story built well off of actual events, and the author's character fit seamlessly into the plot.

Honor is an awesome character. She went through so much in her life. She is truly a heroine in my eyes.
As posted at

Here I sit and *sigh* as I type this review hanging my head, I can't believe that it has taken so long to read this book The whole series has been sitting on my shelf for a number of years. Why did I wait so long? I am not sure if it was the cover that provoked a 'bodice ripping feel' or maybe I was thinking that I couldn't handle another Anne Boleyn story. How mistaken I was!

I was thrilled to hear that this book was going to be made into an audiobook with
Apr 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Honor Larke is unusual for her time. Catholics persecuted protestants while protestants persecuted Catholics. All Honor knows is these people have done nothing to deserve to be burned. While serving Queen Catherine, she is drawn into intrigue to save protestants. Along the way she meets Richard Thornleigh who helps her while danger stalks their heels. Eramus also appears here. A thriller within a romance, I read this with a racing heart, never knowing what the next page will bring.
Barbara Kyle b
Jul 07, 2010 rated it liked it
I read this years ago when it was A Dangerous Temptation. The old edition looks like a romance novel, the new one looks like a Philippa Gregory novel, but both of these impressions are kind of misleading. There's a romance, yeah, but the novel focuses mainly on the religious tensions in 16th century Europe and how the various sects tortured, burned, and otherwise oppressed anyone who believed differently. Engrossing if you're a historical fiction buff, but incredibly bleak for long stretches.
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the complexity of this story and the twists and turns throughout. Barbara Kyle tackled a turbulent and thorny subject of pre-restoration England with great finesse while maintaining a compelling story and equally compelling characters.
Maura Heaphy
Jul 29, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I had to read this for a Book Club, and I tried. I really really did try to enter into the spirit of this, to appreciate it for its good points,and not expect it to be flawlessly historically accurate.

And I made it to page 100 before I admitted to myself that Kyle's complete lack of understanding of the attitudes, mores and expectations of early 16th century women just made it impossible to take this bit of nonsense seriously, or to enjoy it. Young ladies of the social class Kyle is writing abou
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Enjoyed this book very much. It helped make the era and the people of the time come to life. I would like to read more by this author.
Colleen Turner
Note: I listened to the audiobook version of this novel.

When I read Blood Between Queens, the fifth book in the Thornleigh series, I was hooked! Being a huge fan of any novels that take place during Tudor times I was happy to see the well known history shown from the perspective of this fictional yet very real feeling family that have been tangled up in the world of the court since the beginning of Henry VIII's rule. But starting the series on book five brought up just as many questions as were
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow, what a book and what a roller coaster of a story that I enjoyed every moment of. Honor Larke is orphaned at 7 years old when her father abruptly dies excommunicated from the church. This terrible moment becomes the building blocks for her questions of faith. She is kidnapped by the priest who excommunicated her father and sold to a man who will then collect her land and titles when she is forced to marry his son. Eventually she is able to escape this situation with the help of her loyal ser ...more
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it
There’s plenty to like about this novel but I’m going to focus on something that really impressed me: Barbara Kyle pulls off a major feat of character development for her protagonist, Honor Larke.
Honor grows up during a time when England is in the early stages of Protestant reform, when Henry VIII is trying to divorce his first queen, and the official religion of the realm is coming down hard on "heretics". Torture, betrayal, and burnings intimidate the population but also feed rebellion.
Andreia Silva
Sou uma fascinada pelos Tudor! Admito que tenho um fraquinho por essa parte da história da Inglaterra que, no fundo, alterou todo um país! Henrique VIII foi um rei que viveu tantas emoções que o resultado só pode ser belíssimos romances históricos como este. Não conhecia a obra de Barbara Kyle, mas assim que soube da existência desta série, a curiosidade aguçou-me.

Neste livro acompanhamos Honor Larke, umas das aias (e a mais fiel) de Catarina de Aragão, numa altura em que a rainha está a ser des
Honor Larke had a rough childhood, but everything turned around when Thomas More took her in as his ward. Now in 1527, she has a choice: marry and fall into the role of obedient wife or serve Queen Catherine at court. Honor chooses the latter and soon finds that court life is not everything she thought it would be but she is loyal to the queen whose position is being undermined by Anne Boleyn.

Still, when the burning of heretics rubs Honor the wrong way - why should people die just for a differen
Jan 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tudors
A sinopse e as primeiras páginas deram-me uma ideia completamente errada do enredo do livro. Pensei que se desenrolaria, essencialmente, em volta da “grande questão” de Henrique VIII: a Rainha Catarina de Aragão, nesta versão, auxiliada pela sua aia, Honor, a tentar impedir o Rei de anular o casamento de ambos; a procurar provas e documentos que sustentassem a sua causa enquanto os homens do rei a isolavam dos seus aliados e rebatiam os seus argumentos, desesperados com a demora do processo, que ...more
Liza Perrat
Jun 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
In the Queen’s Lady, Barbara Kyle weaves a fast-paced plot of intrigue, romance and suspense, set in the 16th century court of King Henry VIII.

The feisty heroine, Honor Larke, is faced with two choices: marry or serve. Not wishing to become an obedient wife, she leaves the home of her ward, Sir Thomas More, to become one of Queen Catherine of Aragon’s ladies. But such a position can prove lethal, as intrigues in the Tudor Court heighten when Anne Boleyn steals Henry’s affection and the King want
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book started out really interesting, sucking me in like a tornado. Then it started to turn south. The book jumps in several places, and this was the author's first mistake. The first jump takes the main character, Honor, to the home and care of Thomas Moore. Though the author gives you the backstory of how she got there the reader never sees the relationship between Moore and Honor develop, which turns out to be essential to the story. The rest of the plot is based on the feelings between t ...more
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read lately! I totally enjoyed this journey through Tudor period England and Europe. The main character Honor Larke, is reminiscent somehow of the famous Amber in Forever Amber, however she has more backbone and more principle, and you don't feel the need to slap her as much as Amber. But the story arch has a similar feel, with the main character slip for one adventure to another,through which e reader encounters many aspects of life in the period and many of the cen ...more
Oct 23, 2009 rated it liked it
This was a good read - especially for those of us who already have a fascination with Tudor-era history. I would hesitate to call it a romance, though, as so much of the story did not revolve around the romantic relationship. That said, their relationship was always in the background, so I suppose I could understand the categorization.
The title itself is a bit misleading, as the main character is only directly involved with Catherine of Aragon for perhaps the first fourth of the book. After that
Nicole B
I seem to be in the minority but I did not like this book. All of the characters were bland and one dimensional, especially the main heroine Honor, who was an annoying naif with no discernible flaws. The plot seemed to come and go, to be replaced by random pages-long political or religious speeches. Worst of all, Ms. Kyle was somehow able to take some of the most turbulent and complex years in Early Modern England and turn it into an over-simplified, black & white world (All Protestants = go ...more
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thrilling novel about intrigue during the reign of King Henry VIII. A great read for lovers of historical romance. Barbara Kyle has clearly researched the period thoroughly and brings out the religious issues between the Catholics and the Protestants very clearly. She completely changed my opinion of Thomas Moore who I had always liked from seeing the play 'A Man for all Seasons' but who is shown to be rather less virtuous in this book and probably closer to his real historical character. This ...more
Fiona Pullen
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The start of a compelling series of Tudor thrillers. This book got me hooked, I then read all the other books in the series within a week.

It's good to read books which don't focus on the Tudor royal family but instead explore more what the life of other people living in this period was like.

The series follows a family through the generations and how their lives interlink with those of the Tudor monarchs.
Nov 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
It was a good story. I enjoyed Philippa Gregory's version a lot more. What annoyed me the most and I could never get over it, was that the main character was British and yet her name was spelt "Honor" instead of "Honour"

And wtf... Ralph...

The character names were like little speedbumps. But other than that... I did enjoy the plot.
Merrissa Pearce
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Assumed it would be a typical, toss aside Tudor romance - but it was so much more...will be on my bookshelf for years to come, without a doubt. Great plot, well rounded characters, and it painted such a picture of Tudor-era England. Some so beautiful - some very dark and heartbreaking. Can't wait to read the next in this series - hoping that it can match the intrigue of this book!
KJ, Madame Librarian
This book reads very much like a first novel--but a good one! Kyle is clearly not afraid to juggle faith, history, romance, and personal relationships with famous dead people. Sometimes, she drops the ball. But for a first outing? It's impressive. If this were my first novel, I would be proud as hell.

I am looking forward to reading the rest in this series!
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent novel set in Tudor England but not the usual run of the mill Tudor novel. This was paced more like a thriller and had an interesting plot and was well written. Recommended to lovers of historical fiction.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 04, 2015 01:10PM  
5 COPIES of The Queen's Lady for G|IVEAWAY!! 2 12 Dec 09, 2012 08:20PM  
  • The Virgin's Daughters: In the Court of Elizabeth I
  • Young Bess (Elizabeth Trilogy, #1)
  • Secrets of the Tudor Court (Tudor Court #1)
  • Vengeance Is Mine: A Novel Of Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, And Lady Rochford  The Woman Who Helped Destroy Them Both
  • Her Mother's Daughter: A Novel of Queen Mary Tudor
  • All the Queen's Players
  • To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (Ladies in Waiting, #1)
  • The King's Daughter. A Novel of the First Tudor Queen (Rose of York)
  • The Concubine
  • A Lady Raised High: A Novel of Anne Boleyn
  • To Serve a King
  • The Queen's Governess
  • In a Treacherous Court (Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, #1)
  • The Queen's Handmaiden
  • The Queen's Sorrow
  • The King's Grace
  • The Queen's Promise
  • The Queen's Secret (Lucy Morgan, #1)

Hello Readers,

I'm delighted to share with you the release of my latest book, "Page-Turner: Your Path to Writing a Novel that Publishers Want and Readers Buy." As the author of novels with sales of over half a million books, I hope "Page-Turner" will help and inspire emerging writers everywhere.

Here's a little background about me. Before becoming an author, I enjoyed a twenty-year acting career in

Other books in the series

Thornleigh (7 books)
  • The King's Daughter (Thornleigh, #2)
  • The Queen's Captive (Thornleigh, #3)
  • The Queen's Gamble (Thornleigh, #4)
  • Blood Between Queens (Thornleigh, #5)
  • The Queen's Exiles (Thornleigh, #6)
  • The Traitor's Daughter (Thornleigh, #7)

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • American Street
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Stillwater Rising
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Lark Song
    $4.99 $1.99
  • In Twenty Years
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Winter Men
    $3.49 $0.99
  • The Daughters of Palatine Hill
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A House for Happy Mothers
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Love Poems (New Directions Paperbook)
    $11.95 $2.99
  • The Drowning Guard
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Anathema
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Neverhome
    $12.99 $2.99
  • Sinner: A Paradise Novel (The Books of History Chronicles)
    $11.49 $3.99
  • A Promise of Hope (Kauffman Amish Bakery, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • 'Round Midnight: A Novel
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Ulterior Motives (Sun Coast Chronicles, #3)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Prisoner B-3087
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Midwife's Revolt (The Midwife Series, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Place of Peace (Kauffman Amish Bakery, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Beekeeper's Promise
    $4.99 $2.49
  • The Two-Family House
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Where Do I Go? (Yada Yada House of Hope, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Bloodletter's Daughter
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Gift of Grace (Kauffman Amish Bakery, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Luxe (Luxe, #1)
    $3.74 $0.99
  • A Dream of Home (Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Thing About Jellyfish
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Broken Angels
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lioness of Morocco
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Girl from the Savoy
    $10.74 $1.99
  • The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Wish
    $5.67 $2.99
  • Treason: A Novel
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Wednesday Wars
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Red Mountain
    $4.99 $1.49
  • She Who Remembers
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Hearts of Resistance
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Nantucket Nights
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Midwife of Hope River: A Novel of an American Midwife
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Life and Other Near-Death Experiences
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Where Hope Begins
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Somewhere in France: A Novel of the Great War
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Skin
    $1.99 $0.99
  • Endangered (Ape Quartet, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Inamorata
    $3.99 $0.99
  • A Life of Joy (Kauffman Amish Bakery, #4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Poisonwood Bible
    $11.99 $11.99
  • Cometh the Hour (The Clifton Chronicles #6)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Question of Red
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A.D. 30 (A.D., #1)
    $7.99 $3.99
  • Karolina's Twins: A Novel
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Illuminati: Roundtable of the Bosses (The Cartel #7)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The 158-Pound Marriage
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Chasing Rainbows: A Novel
    $3.99 $0.99
  • A Season of Love
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Curtain of Green: and Other Stories (Harvest/HBJ Book)
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
“No. I tell you, it is Holy Church which instructs Christians how to live, not the Bible. Christians could be pure in their faith even if the Bible had never been written. Doctrine has passed orally from one generation to the next, through Holy Mother Church, God’s instrument on earth. ‘Quod semper, quod ubique, quod omnibus.’ ‘What has been believed always, everywhere, and by all.’ Tradition. Founded by the Apostles and continuing, unbroken, to the present day. Christ founded a church. He did not write a book!” 1 likes
“The priests will sell indulgence letters for fornication, for the breaking of vows, for shunning confession, for ignoring fasts, and, of course, for rescuing souls from purgatory. Purgatory,” he repeated with a sneer. “This dread place exists, the Church teaches, for the cleansing of sinful man’s soul after death, but the Church will gladly give you remission of years of your soul’s agony there—for a price. Now, tell me this. If the Pope has the power to deliver a soul out of purgatory, why then can he not deliver it without money? And if he can deliver one soul, then why does he not deliver a thousand? Why not all? Let loose all the poor, tortured souls, and thus destroy purgatory.” His fist punched the air. “I say the Pope is a tyrant if he keeps souls within purgatory’s prison until men give him money!” 0 likes
More quotes…