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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Book Review: The Rose Without A Thorn by Jean Plaidy

The Rose Without A Thorn by Jean Plaidy
Book 11 in Queens of England Series
Paperback, 288 pages
Three Rivers Press
June 24, 2003

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Personal collection

I read this book immediately following Philippa Gregory's The Boleyn Inheritance, which made sense seeing as they both cover the same characters. You can see my review of Gregory’s book here. I liked reading them back to back in order to get a more well-rounded view of the character of Katherine Howard.

Plaidy's Katherine is looking back on her life retelling all of the events that have led up to her present state of confinement. You even get some little side notes like "if I had only known" or "I would have done that differently". It's refreshing to see someone of that time period recognizing their faults, but I’m not sure that, in reality, Katherine actually realized what was happening. Plaidy makes Katherine likeable, naive, and comes of age very quickly at a time when one needed to fully understand the world around them. I actually enjoyed Katherine in this novel, where as in some other books, she is whiny, overly sexual, and just unlikable.

This was my first Plaidy read and it definitely made me a Plaidy follower. Her characters feel very real and there are so many little details about the world around them that you don’t get sometimes in other books. A wonderful read.
Plaidy doesn’t have her own website – but there is a great reader-made site that features her works – Royal Intrigue – where you can find out more about her books.  Plaidy wrote many, many books under several different pseudonyms – you can find a complete list here.

My reviews of other books by this author:

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).


Copyright © 2010 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I much prefer Jean Plaidy's first-person books to the other ones. My favourite is The Queen's Confession (which she published as Victoria Holt) but I also enjoyed The Lady in the Tower, about Anne Boleyn, and I want to read this one too. Catherine is one of my favourite queens.

  2. Thanks for the review. I have not read one of her books yet, and having joined the Jean Plaidy challenge I am trying to decide which one to read first. Maybe I will read this one :)

  3. This is one of my favorite Plaidy's as well. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  4. This is also my first Jean Plaidy read and I really enjoyed it,,,glad you liked it..

  5. Great review Heather. I'm so glad you have now become a Plaidy fan. I'm telling you I can't get enough of her.

  6. I'm planning on reading this for the Tudor Reading Challenge. This will be my first Jean Plaidy read and I'm really looking forward to it. Nice review!

  7. Nice review. I too like to read books that deal with interconnected characters and events. It adds so much more to each book .

  8. Yay, a new Plaidy fan! I think you'll find her books are always a step above the rest in regards to details and accuracy, as well as characterization. I can't wait to pick up another... read 2 so far this year!

  9. I like Jean Plaidy though I do not get much opportunity of reading her here. I have done a review on one of hr books and would appreciate you looking at it. Thanks

  10. This is your first Plaidy?! No way! I can't believe it. Very glad you enjoyed it. If Plaidy wrote history books students would be very knowledgable :)

  11. Jean Plaidy is a new author for me, and I will definitely check out her books. I love reading about the Tudor Court, and this book sounds like a winner!


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