Saturday, April 9, 2011

No Will But His

My break from HF didn't last long as I delved into yet another Tudor novel. This one happened to be about Katherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife. Katherine Howard led a tragic life. As the youngest of Henry's queens, she is often portrayed as silly, vain, and idiotic. This book really wasn't all that different. And unfortunately, it was fraught with errors that I just couldn't see passed. As per usual, I am reading this on my Kindle, so page numbers aren't available (they are on the new version of the Kindle however. Jealous!). From locations 3599-3606:
"THAT night Kathryn lay awake till late, waiting for the king, but the king did not come. She wondered if someone had her heard her talk with the duchess, and woke up feeling battered and bruised and weakened inside in a way that she couldn't describe."
The extra "her" in the above quote is not a typo of my own design. Also, Katherine's name was spelled at least three different ways throughout this book. While she herself didn't have a set spelling of her name, an author of a novel should be consistent. With so many different Katherines in this time period, having different spellings for the same one gets extremely confusing. All of the typos and name spelling changes aside, I couldn't understand why the author (Sarah A. Hoyt) felt the need to express herself in such overlong sentences. From location 2663:
"The silence stretched a little longer, and then someone said, in the kind of horribly bright voice people employ when they are saying something that they think might be reported and perhaps cost them their lives but which needs be said anyway." I reread that sentence at least four times. It still baffles me now as it did when I had first read it.

While this isn't the worst Tudor novel I have ever read, it certainly wasn't my favorite. Katherine Howard is my favorite of the six wives, and I feel that I have yet to come across a portrayal that I find flattering to her. Unfortunately, the one dimensional view is all that seems to exist. I give this particular one two and a half stars. You can find it here. Maybe some of you will enjoy it a bit more than me!

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