Done! This is the final book in a three-novel series about Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk and close friend to England’s King Henry VIII. It’s the life story of his fourth and final wife, Katherine Willoughby, whose Spanish-born mother (Maria de Salinas) was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon. Awarded three stars on Goodreads.
Katherine was originally Charles’ ward, a wardship he purchased in the hopes of one day providing his son with a wealthy wife. But after the death of his third wife Mary Tudor (sister to Henry VIII and widow of King Louis XII of France), Charles figured (at the age of 49) he might as well marry the 14-year-old heiress himself. (#MeToo)
The new Duchess takes over the running of various estates, has a couple of children, and generally manages things for Charles while he spends lots of time at court, trying to stay in the good graces of the King.
My chief complaint with the first two books in this series was the amount of duplication there was. Large passages that seemed to be lifted from one book and pasted into the next. Though there was a bit of that in this third volume as well, there was much less.
I still didn’t find myself very emotionally connected to Katherine. I didn’t gain much insight into her or better understand her motivations (the things I like best in reading historical fiction). Which was also true of all of the other characters. But I did learn more about her story after Charles dies, where Katherine becomes active in supporting church reform, suffers some personal losses, finds a new husband that she loves, and lives in exile.
I now have the satisfaction of having completed this entire series. But I do NOT expect to pick up the other series by this author. Even though I am interested in the subject matter of his three-novel Tudor Trilogy (about Owen, Jasper, and Henry Tudor).
More about the author, Tony Riches.
You may be interested in my reviews of the first two books in this series:
Mary Tudor Princess (#1)
Brandon Tudor Knight (#2)