Review: The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

 The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
Book #1 of Tudor Series
Finished reading: April 17, 2011
Historical Fiction, Paperback, 491 Pages, Borrowed from Library

"I am Catalina, Princess of Spain, daughter of the two greatest monarchs the world has ever known..and I will be Queen of England."

The Story (back cover): Thus, the bestselling author Philippa Gregory introduces us to one of her most unforgettable heroines: Katherine of Aragon. Known to history as the Queen who was pushed of her throne by Anne Boleyn, here is a Katherine the world has forgotten: the enchanting princess that all England loved. First married to Henry VIII's older brother, Arthur, Katherine's passion turns their arranged marriage into a love match. But when Arthur dies, the merciless English court and her ambitious parents - the crusading king and Queen of Spain - have to find a new role for the widow. Ultimately, it is Katherine herself who takes control of her own life by telling the most audacious lie in English history, leading her to the role she has rehearsed all her life: Henry VIII's Queen, Regent, and commander of the English army in their greatest victory agains Scotland. 

My Thought: This is yet another entertaining historical fiction by Philippa Gregory. I picked "The Constant Princess" partly because I was enchanted by the amazing story of Boleyn Sisters in "The Other Boleyn Girl", the first book that I read by the author in which Queen Katherine is one of the characters mentioned. So, the main reason why I chose this book is that to know the story of the Queen Katherine, prior to the period when she was pushed of her throne by the very ambitious Anne Boleyn. 

Being told from Katherine's point of views with an alternate omniscient voice, this book really fascinates me with a well-crafted storyline and drama all along. The most fascinating aspect of this novel is Queen Katherine herself as she is a very persistence, a determined to do whatever it takes to achieve her destiny, even lying and manipulating, and keep to be constant through and through over many years to become the Queen of England. I love the affectionate romance between Katherine and her first husband Prince Arthur, but too bad that Arthur died at a very young age and left his wife with a deathbed promise. A promise to push her way through to the top of the throne as Queen of England by marrying his younger brother Prince Harry (later known as King Henry VIII) by telling a single lie which changes the tide of English history. 

While the story is enjoyable, the ending is just not in the way that I like it. But, that doesn't spoiled the book at all. All in all this is a well-narrated story with a strong main character which I really enjoyed reading. I don't know how much of it are facts or fictions but still this is a very entertaining novel. Am looking forward for the next book by Philippa Gregory. Recommended to all historical fiction fans. 

CoffeeNCrackers' Meter: 3.5 Cups of Coffee

**"The Constant Princess" is listed under the Historical Fiction Challenge 2011 hosted by Historical Tapestry.
**This review is linked to Book Review Party Wednesday hosted by Cym Lowell


Small Kucing said...

I heard of this book. I have read 1 book by this author but dont quite suit me

Sharon said...

I've read "The White Queen," "The Red Queen" and am about done with "The Other Queen" by this author. I liked all three so I think I'll have to give this one a try!

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

I read and enjoyed this book. I laugh when I think of the lie because of how dramatic it was. Obviously because of the times. Great post.

Hidayah Ismawi said...

Ooo.. will definitely look out for this book .. btw .. did you manage to mail out the 2 books yet?

cj'alhafiz said...

@Small Kucing
The first book I read, as I mentioned wass The Other Boleyn Girl which I think really fascinating. If you still want to try to read this author's, try the Other Boleyn Girl..and then this one. If you still think you're not quiet into 'em, maybe Philippa Gregory's is not your cup of tea..hehe..

cj'alhafiz said...

All the three I put in my I-wish-I-read-em-too!! Well, if you like the three books, I'm sure you'll be enjoying The Constant Princess as it it a likable novel. And don't forget to read the Other Boleyn Girl ok!

cj'alhafiz said...

Am glad that you were also enjoyed the book. I also think that the lie is funny, u know, because it seems like during that period of time.. they have only lil knowledge about virginity.

cj'alhafiz said...

@Hidayah Sis
You should read this Sis. It's enjoyable. And about the books, I'll be posting them tomorrow. I'm so sorry for the delay..

Hidayah Ismawi said...

Just finished Alice Hartley's Happiness by her (the first non historical fiction by her that I've read)- review coming soon.

It's ok. I know how busy a student's life is. Just let me know once you've mailed them.

Oh, I will be taking a trip to the post office later this week, do e-mail me if you spot any other books you might want so I can mail them at the same time.

cj'alhafiz said...

@Hidayah Sis

Thanks for the heads up on Alice Hartley's. Haven't read anything from this author. Will look into it.

And for the books, I'll mail it tomorrow. And for the next burrows, I'll mail you. Thanks.

Ruperto Prieto Jr. said...

Great review! I have to really look for the other boleyn girl and start reading it! I think I will really enjoy it.

cj'alhafiz said...

Thanks Pertz. Yeah!! Definitely. The Other Boleyn Girl is awesome and fascinating. Give it a try and you won't be disappointed at all.

EnglishRose said...

Great review and blog! I love historical books. I'm visiting from Cym Lowell's Wednesday Book Review Party. Feel free to check me out too:

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

I have a couple of Ms. Gregory's titles on my TBR pile (including The Other Boleyn Girl), and reading your review makes me want to add yet another! Thanks! (hopping by from Cym Lowell's party)

cj'alhafiz said...

Hey English Rose. Thanks for coming by. I started to love historical books after I read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Will be checking your blog...=)

cj'alhafiz said...

Hi Julie. Yeah, this one also should be included in your reading pile. And hey, thanks for coming by..=)

Elizabeth said...

I love Philipa Gregory..I actually saw the castle where the Boleyn Sisters lived.

Thanks for your thoughts on this book.

Stopping by from Cym Lowell's book review giveaway.


cj'alhafiz said...

Hi Elizabeth. You did saw the castle? looks awesome isn't it? hehe...btw thanks for stopping by.

MarthaE said...

Hello CJ. Stopping in from Cym's Wednesday Reviews.
I agree your comment that it is hard to tell how factual some of these historical fiction stories are but they are still enjoyable.
Have a good week.