Title: Mary, Queen of France: The Tudor Princesses
Author: Jean Plaidy
Release Date: October 28, 2003
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the back cover:
Princess Mary Rose is the youngest sister of Henry VIII, and one of the few people whom he adores unconditionally. Known throughout Europe for her charm and good looks, Mary is the golden child of the Tudor family and is granted her every wish.
Except when it comes to marriage. Henry VIII, locked in a political showdown with France, decides to offer up his pampered baby sister to secure peace between the two mighty kingdoms. Innocent, teenage Mary must become the wife of the elderly King Louis, a toothless, ailing man in his sixties. Horrified and furious, Mary has no choice but to sail for France. There she hones her political skills, bides her time, and remains secretly in love with Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk.
I know the story of Mary Tudor, the younger sister of Henry VIII, from the rather disappointing Diane Haeger book The Secret Bride: In the Court of Henry VIII [review]. With that in the back of my mind, I wasn’t exactly anxious to pick of Mary, Queen of France, but I finally decided that it had been sitting on my shelf long enough and needed to be read. Plus, I have been anxious to try a Jean Plaidy novel and figured that this subject matter would be a good test.
Imagine my surprise when I found Mary, Queen of France brisk and engaging! Mary was an absolute gem in this novel and really made it enjoyable. She was clever and very funny. Plaidy really makes the reader care about this charismatic and endearing woman.
Though I already knew the history surrounding Mary, Queen of France quite well, I appreciated Plaidy’s interpretation. It was interesting to see her take on a young Queen Katherine and King Henry VIII, as they are characters we usually read about in the middle of their lives, during the breakup of their marriage. I also appreciated the fact that Plaidy didn’t feel the need to make the story more elaborate than it is. It’s a concise book that is easy to read.
I was really impressed with Mary, Queen of France and am looking forward to tackling more of Plaidy’s novels. It’s nice to discover a talented and creative author who was also incredibly prolific!