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The King's Curse

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Philippa Gregory

Narrated By: Bianca Amato

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: September 2014

Duration: 24 hours 17 minutes

Summary:

The final novel in the Cousins' War series, the basis for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries The White Queen, by #1 New York Times bestselling author and "the queen of royal fiction" (USA Today) Philippa Gregory tells the fascinating story of Margaret Pole, cousin to the "White Princess," Elizabeth of York, and lady-in-waiting to Katherine of Aragon.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.

Genres:

  • Carmel S.

    Excellent, this is Gregory doing what she does best. I haven't liked her more recent books but this is a shining example of her work when it's good. This novel wraps up the stories of several key characters from the Tudor books. Very well done. Amato is perfect as usual.

  • Jodie L.

    The Kings Curse is by far my favourite novel in this series. I’m a huge fan of Lady Margaret Pole. She is a woman of such strength, dignity and loyalty who’s life showed how the wheel of fortune can raise one so high and throw them so low. But no matter what happened in her life, she always retained her strength and her loyalty to her family. Too bad the same couldn’t be said for her son Geoffrey... It’s a beautiful, tragic story told so well that you literally feel as though your “in” the story. I could smell the scents of 1500’s England, see the richly decorated castles and see the exquisitely dressed royalty. I could hear their words echo from a time long ago. I love this book. I love it so much I’ve listened to it three times over the last few years. For any historical fiction fans, this is a must read. The story itself is captivating and is told in a way that you’ll have a hard time putting it down. King Henry turned into a vicious, evil and unpredictable man as the years went on, abandoning his first wife for Anne Boleyn, then resorting to beheading wives was awful enough. Not to mention the countless murders of innocent people who’d dared to speak out against the injustices King Henry inflicted upon his people. The murder of an old lady, a woman who had raised his own daughter Princess Mary (who also suffered greatly at the hands of her father) like her own daughter and so much more, was the absolute worst thing he could have done. He could have chosen to let her live her life quietly, being in her 60’s and having already murdered her sons, but instead he had her beheaded by a clumsy, stupid youth who botched the execution. She deserved so much better then that. Even after Henry died the bloodletting didn’t cease. Mary, poor little Mary, in this story, a sympathetic character, becomes “Bloody Mary” taking out her life of grief, loss and heartbreak on the country and burning people at the stake. And when Elizabeth, Anne Boleyn’s daughter, became Queen she was the least vicious of the Tudor’s but wasn’t without malice herself. Her cousin Margaret locked up her whole life out of fear and her other cousin Mary Queen of Scots beheaded. Fearfulness and paranoia seem to be common and dangerous Tudor traits. But the curse of the old York Queens, if there was one (and I believe there was) worked and their house ended and so did the Tudors. But their legacy lives on, that 500 years later we still are enthralled with them speaks volumes. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do!

  • nab6215

    Besides being an excellent read, "The King's Curse" fills in the details on the supporting cast of King Henry VIII. This story about Lady Margaret Pole touches many royals of the time. I'm watching Showtime's Tudors and am hoping it will help. Also of note at the end of the book, Philippa Greggory mentions Kell antigen, McLeod syndrome for the deaths of King Henry VIII's children as well as his own changing behavior. I wish his remains would be exhumed so we would know.

  • Kelli

    I so enjoy Phillipa Gregory's books, and this book was no exception. Riveting and well narrated, I loved every second of it!

  • Sherry Behrends

    Well written and researched. Thank you Ms. Gregory for reminding me that our modern time period is not the only "troubled times ".

  • Margaret Lunn

    Excellent story..very well written...and true Such cruelty in those days

  • Valentyna Dergachova

    A little bit long but so exiciting novel! I loved it.

  • Patricia Heinzmann

    Wonderful! This whole series has been incredible!

  • Lenika Banks

    Unbelievable story, truly an incredible read! Best of the series!