May Day 1517, 7-year-old Honor Larke would remember this night forever. This was the night she watched two men die – one at peace, the other in abject terror.
The Queen’s Lady is the first of Barbara Kyle’s Thornleigh series which progressively documents the successive reign of the Tudor monarchs through the lives and struggles of the fictional family. Turbulent, fast-paced and original, this novel is a must read for all historical fiction fans!
There are currently seven books in the series – the latest of which, The Traitor’s Daughter, is to be release this May (2015).
Kyle started out as an actress, playing roles in dozens of film, television, and stage productions in Canada and the U.S. before turning her hand to writing.
She now teaches writing seminars and workshops in Ontario, Canada, where she lives with her husband and has sold over 450,000 copies of her novels.
The Queen’s Lady follows protagonist Honor Larke as she fights to stake a gasp on the rapidly changing world around her.
The novel opens with the death of her father, setting events into motion that will ultimately drag her to the very edges of faith and back. Loath to submit to the insipid restraints of a Tudor wife, she takes a position at court attending Her Majesty Queen Catherine of Aragon.
However, as her past begins to catch up on her, she soon is swept up into a world of intrigue and espionage, which threatens to claim her life and all she holds dear.
Kyle constructs a plot that is exquisitely layered, with beautiful detail and complex relationships. As a great believer of the power of historical accuracy within her fiction, Kyle produces a succinct inter-web of fiction with fact proudly resting at its core.
Well developed, complicated characters steal the show and the theological debates are excellently written and explained making them accessible, without watering anything down.
Personally I feel the detailed inclusion of religious disputes was a very brave choice, when so many authors flit around the edges and is another reason why I am so passionate about her writing.
Equally, I love the extensive and personal representation of the religious turmoil underway in much of Europe. Again I feel that this is a topic greatly lacking within a lot of Tudor fiction.
Don’t worry dear readers, there’s also a spade full of heart-break, passion, romance and tragedy too. All in all, there’s certainly something for everyone.
I simply cannot express the amount of respect and admiration I have for The Queen’s Lady. Not for the faint hearted, this rare gem is shining example of historical fiction at its best.
Published by Canvas, The Queen’s Lady retails at £7.99