Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

The King’s Mistress by Emma Campion

September 30th, 2010 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Honestly I cannot remember where I got this ARC from

Publication date: July 6, 2010

Publisher: Crown

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars

Description from Goodreads.com: When had I choice to be other than I was? From childhood Alice Salisbury has learnt obedience in all things and at fourteen, dutifully marries the man her father has chosen for her – at the cost of losing the love of her mother forever and the family she holds dear. But merchant Janyn Perrers is a good and loving husband and Alice soon learns to enjoy her marriage. Until a messenger brings news of his disappearance and she discovers that her husband had many secrets, secrets he didn’t want her to know – but which have now put a price on her own head and that of her beloved daughter.Brought under the protection of King Edward III and Queen Philippa, she must dutifully embrace her fate once more – as a virtual prisoner at Court. And when the king singles her out for more than just royal patronage, she knows she has little choice but to accept his advances. But obeying the king brings with it many burdens as well as pleasures, as she forfeits her good name to keep her daughter free from hurt. Still a young woman and guided by her intellect and good business sense, she learns to use her gifts as wisely as she can. But as one of the king’s favourites, she brings jealousy and hatred in her wake and some will stop at nothing to see her fall from grace.

I enjoyed this book although not being familiar with this time period sometimes it would get confusing to keep track of which Edward, John, Joan, etc. they were referring to in some parts of the book (come on people use some original names!).  I know, I know, that is just how it was during this time period.  Other than that this was an interesting read as we see everything from the view point of Dame/Mistress Alice and as hard as it is to believe she really was naive through the whole book.  You cannot help but feel sorry for what she goes through when all she was trying to do was to be an obedient daughter, wife and subject of the king and queen.  Most of the other historical fiction books I have read involved Henry VIII so this was a nice departure and to see the vagaries of a different royal couple.  Campion says in the end that she got the idea from just a sliver of information that mentions Alice and she built a character around what she thought could have potentially been the actual situation of Alice.  Like many things in history we will never know the truth, was Alice really an innocent or was she a clever merchant’s daughter who manage to rise far above her station, but this was an intriguing story.  It was a little slow moving for my tastes but still a nice read.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Historical Fiction

2 Responses

  1. Pam

    It does look like good Hist Fic!

  2. Holly

    This has been on my list for awhile. I’m glad it’s good.

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