Book Review: Six Tudor Queens: Katheryn Howard, The Tainted Queen: Six Tudor Queens 5 by Alison Weir

Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Headline Review
Pub date: 6 August 2020
Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟


At just nineteen, Katheryn Howard is quick to trust and fall in love.

She comes to court. She sings, she dances. She captures the heart of the King.

Henry declares she is his rose without a thorn. But Katheryn has a past of which he knows nothing. It comes back increasingly to haunt her. For those who share her secrets are waiting in the shadows, whispering words of love… and blackmail.


Katheryn Howard was so young when she died that I was surprised by the length of this book, I didn’t expect there to be so much to be able to write but Weir has used her extensive research of Katheryn and the Tudor era to bring life to a young Katheryn.

I loved reading about what her life as a young girl may have been like before she she went to court. The book shapes Katheryn through her experiences as a young girl and how events may have impacted her and perhaps even led to her eventual downfall.

I have always felt Katheryn is portrayed usually as a flirtatious young girl who only cares about her own pleasures and enjoyment but this book changes those preconceptions and shines a whole new light on Katheryn as a caring, naive lady who is taken advantage of by numerous people including her own family.

It is beautifully written and the vivid descriptives of the clothing, jewels and court are fabulous.

I found it interesting to read of what Katheryn’s view of Henry and his children may have been and found I pitied Henry in this book for all the hurts he suffered through this life whether by those who manipulated him for their own gain or through loss of loved ones.

Although we can’t be certain of all aspects of Katheryn’s life, Weir uses avaliable sources and entwines fiction to create a beautiful but tragic story of a young girl.

For those who would like to know more about Katheryn but aren’t fans of non-fiction this is fantastic. Personally I enjoy fiction and non-fiction but I still thoroughly enjoyed this as I have the previous four books in the Six Wives series.

You can pre-order your copy now

Thank you to Headline for the review copy in exchange for my review.

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