Book Review: The King’s Curse – Philippa Gregory

Synopsis: “Regarded as yet another threat to the volatile King Henry VII’s claim to the throne, Margaret Pole, cousin to Elizabeth of York (known as the White Princess) and daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, is married off to a steady and kind Lancaster supporter—Sir Richard Pole. For his loyalty, Sir Richard is entrusted with the governorship of Wales, but Margaret’s contented daily life is changed forever with the arrival of Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon. Margaret soon becomes a trusted advisor and friend to the honeymooning couple, hiding her own royal connections in service to the Tudors.

After the sudden death of Prince Arthur, Katherine leaves for London a widow, and fulfills her deathbed promise to her husband by marrying his brother, Henry VIII. Margaret’s world is turned upside down by the surprising summons to court, where she becomes the chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. But this charmed life of the wealthiest and “holiest” woman in England lasts only until the rise of Anne Boleyn, and the dramatic deterioration of the Tudor court. Margaret has to choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical king, or to her beloved queen; to the religion she loves or the theology which serves the new masters. Caught between the old world and the new, Margaret Pole has to find her own way as she carries the knowledge of an old curse on all the Tudors.”



When I bought this book, I couldn’t wait to get home and start reading it because I love to read anything to do with history. Now, I hadn’t read anything about King Henry before, but I was so eager to get into my first book about him and divulge it in at least a few weeks. Little did I know how complex this would be for me! Let me just say, there was a lot of Googling going on as I was trying to read the book so that I could try to get familiar with the history of King Henry and who was who in the book. Because the book just gets straight into it and moves very quickly. So I would really recommend this book to people who already have some prior knowledge of this reign.

This book is told by the perspective of Margaret Pole and it is very well written. It really feels like you have been pulled back in time to that era as you are reading. It takes a little bit to get into but once you get into it and realize who is who, then you will really enjoy it! Especially if you are a big history buff! You may know how it all turns out but the book is still very entertaining and worth while to read.

The King’s Curse is the final book in the Cousins’ War series. I haven’t yet read the other books in the series yet but I definitely will be in the near future. I am looking at reading The White Queen next (the first book in the series).

Rating: 6/10