Queen's Gambit: A Novel
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date: August 2013
Duration: 14 hours 27 minutes
Twice widowed by 31, beautiful and intelligent, Katherine Parr, is obliged to return to Henry VIII's court, but suspicious of the aging king and those who surround him, she does so with reluctance. She brings her stepdaughter, Meg, who has been traumatized as a prisoner of war, and her servant Dot, an innocent who carries secrets for Katherine and Meg. When Katherine finds herself caught up in a passionate affair with the dashing and seductive Thomas Seymour, she believes she might finally be able to marry for love. But her presence at court has attracted the attentions of another.
Captivated by her honesty and intelligence, Henry Tudor has his own plans for Katherine. The king has already murdered two wives, lost one to childbirth, and banished two to lives of isolation and poverty, but no woman can refuse his proposal. So with her lover dispatched to the continent, Katherine must accept the hand of the ailing, egotistical monarch and become Henry’s sixth wife.
Committed to religious reform, and ever aware of the fate of his previous queens, Katherine must draw upon all her instincts and intellect to navigate the treachery of the court. With the Catholic faction once more in the ascendency, reformers burned for heresy and those around the dying king vying for position in the new regime, her survival seems unlikely as she walks the knife-edge of court politics, never quite giving up on love. Dot sees everything that happens in the queen's chamber, until she is caught smuggling heretical papers for the queen and is thrown into prison where she prepares to met the torturer.
Queen's Gambit takes the reader straight into the heart of the Tudor court and Katherine Parr's brave and conflicted heart.