Secrets of the Tudor Court by D.L. Bogdan
Summary: When young Mary Howard receives the news that she will be leaving her home for the grand court of King Henry VIII, to attend his mistress Anne Boleyn, she is ecstatic. Everything Anne touches seems to turn to gold, and Mary is certain Anne will one day become Queen. But Mary has also seen the King's fickle nature and how easily he discards those who were once close to him. . .
Discovering that she is a pawn in a carefully orchestrated plot devised by her father, the duke of Norfolk, Mary dare not disobey him. Yet despite all of her efforts to please him, she too falls prey to his cold wrath. Not until she becomes betrothed to Harry Fitzroy, the Duke of Richmond and son to King Henry VIII, does Mary finds the love and approval she's been seeking. But just when Mary believes she is finally free of her father, the tides turn. Now Mary must learn to play her part well in a dangerous chess game that could change her life--and the course of history.
Review: An incredibly emotion story of Mary Howard that demonstrates the impact that Henry VIII had on people's lives.
Henry VIII's reign affected so many lives. So many people were murdered and many families lost a family member, be it a mother, father, son, daughter, cousin, etc. I've read a number of historical fiction novels about the Tudors and there has been a number of deaths in those books. Some of those books have been told from the viewpoint of queens that have been executed. None of those books have affected me as much as this book has. Mary Howard witnesses many deaths including those of her brother and cousins.
Along with all the great loss, comes the death of her true love. You can feel Mary's pain throughout the book and her burning desire to be happy, which includes being out of the grasp of her father. As much as I like Mary Howard, I do not understand her love of her father. He is downright abusive to her, puts her to work as a spy, and puts her in danger, yet she still wants to seek his approval and love. He is not a man worthy of admiration, much less love.
Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that enjoy historical fiction about the Tudors.