The King’s Daughter, by Barbara Kyle

kingsdaughterMy first thought on this book is that the title is misleading, because although the book is set in the reign of Mary Tudor, it’s not really about Mary Tudor at all.  It’s the second in a series (I didn’t know that until after I read it, but I can see where there’s a lot of room for the prequel and subsequent sequels) about the fictional Thornleigh family, who live through the roller-coaster ups and downs of religious and political changes  in Tudor England.

The main character in this book is young Isabel Thornleigh, a young girl engaged to be married, who thinks she knows what her future holds.  But the future takes some very unexpected twists and turns when Sir Thomas Wyatt raises a rebellion against Queen Mary and her plan to marry Philip of Spain.  Isabel’s family is torn apart, secrets about her parents’ past she had never guessed are revealed, and she ends up spending a lot of time with a handsome Spaniard, at which point the story occasionally descends into romance-novel cliches that I found a bit predictable and irritating.

Other than that, though, this was a good, fast-paced story that, like Vanora Bennett’s Figures in Silk and similar novels, illuminated the events of a turbulent historical era through the lives of the common people rather than their rulers.

A parenthetical note to my fellow writers, especially those struggling with publication: it’s worth taking the time to read Barbara Kyle’s story, on her website, of how this book and her previous novel came to be published — and then republished.  It would be hard to find a story that better captures the vagaries of the publishing business.  I’m glad her story had a  happy ending, and I would be interested to read more of her Thornleigh books.


1 Comment

Filed under Canadian author, Fiction -- historical

One response to “The King’s Daughter, by Barbara Kyle

  1. Barbara Kyle

    Hi Trudy,

    As the author of THE KING’S DAUGHTER I appreciate your thoughtful comments on the story. Discerning readers like you are a boon to the business.

    I’m just finishing work on the next in the “Thornleigh” series, THE QUEEN’S PRISONER, which begins with the young Princess Elizabeth imprisoned in the Tower by her sister, Queen Mary, and features the struggles of the Thornleigh family, including their seafaring son Adam, to keep Elizabeth safe from Mary after her release. This third book in the series will be released in early 2010, and I do hope you’ll enjoy it too.

    All the best,

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