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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Book Review: The Shadow of the Pomegranate by Jean Plaidy

The Shadow of the Pomegranate by Jean Plaidy
AKA: Katherine of Aragon Compilation
The Tudor Series
Unabridged, 8 hr. 48 min.
Blackstone Audiobooks Inc.
Anne Flosnick (Narrator)
September 1, 2008
★★★☆ ☆

Genre: Historical Fiction, Audiobook

Source: Borrowed from Arleigh @ Historical-Fiction.com
“Whilst the young King Henry VIII basks in the pageants and games of his glittering court, his doting queen's health and fortunes fade. Henry's affection for his older wife soon strays, and the neglected Katherine decides to use her power as Queen to dangerous foreign advantage.
Overseas battles play on Henry's volatile temper, and his defeat in France has changed the good-natured boy Katherine loved into an infamously callous ruler. With no legitimate heir yet born, Katherine once again begins to fear for her future...”
The Shadow of the Pomegranate is the second part of the three book series about Katherine of Aragon. It spans the time period from shortly after Katherine’s marriage to Henry up until shortly after the birth of Henry’s son with Bessie Blount. This is the true heart and soul of the story of Henry and Kate.

One of the things that I enjoyed was the way the story of Bessie Blount was described. The feeling that I had gotten about her before what that she wasn’t really anyone. This story made her feel like more of a person and understand what Henry might have seen in her and how he could have rationalized his liaison (not that I really liked her). Another significant part of the novel was the viewpoints of Emperor Maximilian and King Ferdinand of Spain. I hadn’t read anything up to this point that had shown an outsider perspective of him. It does seem that they really did use him for their own ends. I enjoyed the depiction of Katherine in this book – she was angry and outspoken about his affairs. Although my all time favorite characterization of Katherine still has to be in The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory.

Although this is part of a trilogy, this book works well as a stand-alone – especially if you know anything about the relationship between Henry and Katherine.
Author Philippa Gregory also has written scores of other novels.  The other books in The Tudor Series include: Uneasy Lies the Head, Katherine the Virgin Widow, The King’s Secret Matter, Murder Most Royal, St. Thomas’s Eve, The Sixth Wife, The Thistle and the Rose, Mary, Queen of France, The Spanish Bridegroom, and Gay Lord Robert. 


As this is an audio book, commentary on the narrator is a must. This narrator was very good. She had very convincing accents for the French, English, and Spanish characters. It added a whole new feel to everyone and helped keep the people straight. I really enjoy it when the narrator really gets into the character and their emotions.

My other reviews of this author's books:

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:
Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, The Book Depository.

Copyright © 2009 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. This sounds like a very good read. I read a few stories about Henry and Katherine, most of the stories are about Anne. :) But this one sounds very nice! Thank you for your great Review.

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed it :) I'm waiting for someone to write a novel on Bessie's life... surely it will happen sooner or later! I did like Plaidy's Katherine in this one and she's always brutally honest with her depiction of Henry. The political intrigue between England, France and Spain are so interesting... I've never read any HF that details this part of history as well as Jean Plaidy. That's one of the reasons why I love her so much!


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