Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: "Royal Inheritance" by Kate Emerson

From Goodreads:  Audrey Malte, born about 1528 and raised at court by the king’s tailor, John Malte, was led to believe she is Malte’s illegitimate daughter when, in fact, her father is King Henry VIII. When she reaches marriageable age, she begins to realize, from the way certain people behave toward her, that Malte is keeping secrets from her, and she sets out to discover the truth. Her quest involves the best and the worst of the courtiers, among them a man with whom she falls in love.

Unfortunately, Malte has already entered into negotiations for her betrothal to someone else, and Audrey guesses the truth about her legacy when the king settles property on her, jointly with Malte. Marriage is definitely in Audrey’s future, but will it be to the man she wants to wed?

My Thoughts:  I have read a lot of Tudor era novels but this one caught my eye because the main character sounded so interesting.  Royal Inheritance features Audrey Malte who I originally thought was a fictional character but is, in fact, inspired by someone who really lived during Henry VIII's reign.  There was an awesome author's note at the end of the book that gave more information about the real Audrey Malte.  The author's Audrey is a happy young woman who was adopted by Henry VIII's tailor when she was a very young girl and spent her whole life believing that she was her father's (John Malte's) illegitimate daughter.  I loved that the author gave her a happy childhood and a loving family; sometimes it seems that when illegitimate children are main characters, authors tend to give them unhappy childhoods so it was kind of refreshing to see something different.

The story is told by Audrey as a precautionary tale to her daughter; this isn't the story of a woman who relishes her royal blood, Audrey knows that the burdens and danger associated with her heritage and isn't trying to use it to her advantage.  The story follows her as she slowly comes to realize who her biological father is and what that means for her life.  I liked that she was such a humble character, she really just wanted to be free to live her life in peace.  

The story is a very simple one (this is a nice light read) but it also is a kind of sad one.  I don't want to give anything away but it did make me a little sad that there wasn't a happy ending.  Because I liked Audrey as a character, I really hoped that things would turn out the way she wanted.  I think Royal Inheritance is a unique addition to the large group of Tudor era novels and is a really enjoyable read.  3 stars.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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