It takes a master storyteller to take a familiar tale and make it grip the reader from the first page to the last and that is just what Elizabeth Fremantle delivers in “Queen’s Gambit.” Fans of Tudor history will already be familiar with the story of the final wife of Henry VIII but Fremantle breathes new life into the tale and I found myself completely caught up, wondering how she would negotiate the twists, turns, and pitfalls of that murderous court. This is a beautifully crafted story that will shine like a jewel among the many historical fictions spawned by the interest in the Tudor era.
Fremantle’s Katherine is delivered to us with a depth of character that makes you feel that you are really inside the mind of this wonderfully complex woman. Katherine is not just a woman who manages to sidestep the awful fate of her predecessors but a wise, witty and kind woman who worked to further the Reformation cause. Often ignored in the history of Henry’s more dramatic wives, “Queen’s Gambit” finally gives this woman the credit she deserves. Reading “Queen’s Gambit” was a joy from the first page to the last.
This book was provided to me by Simon & Schuster for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own. Currently, “Queen’s Gambit is scheduled to be released on June 11, 2013 (seriously, mark your calendars for this one!)