I love a well-written historical fiction and the novel Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle definitely fits the description. The novel covers the life of Katherine Parr, King Henry VIII’s last queen.
After becoming widowed for a second time, Parr is obliged to return to court and falls in love with Thomas Seymour. Their love is not meant to be as Henry has his eyes set on Katherine to become his next wife. Queen’s Gambit follows Katherine’s life from widowhood to her life as England’s queen to widowhood once again.
I don’t know much about Katherine Parr’s life, but Fremantle depicts her as a calming influence on Henry VII in his old age. Just as Henry appreciated Katherine’s maturity, I started to fall in love with her strength as I turned the pages. She had to maneuver her beliefs and actions carefully in court with the knowledge that Henry could easily rid her, just like his previous wives.
Fremantle easily transports her readers into English court, from the stately quarters of Queen Katherine to the servants toiling in the hot kitchens. As someone who used to sew costumes for stage productions, I especially enjoyed the descriptions of Katherine’s clothing and jewels. It’s obvious the author did her research in writing her novel.
It’s hard to believe that Queen’s Gambit is the author’s first novel. I look forward to her future novels!
I received a copy of Queen’s Gambit for review as part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour. Visit the Queen’s Gambit tour page for more reviews, author Q&A, and giveaways. This post contains affiliate links.