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.
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