**This review is linked to Book Review Party Wednesday hosted by Cym LowellThe Constant Princess by Philippa GregoryBook #1 of Tudor SeriesFinished reading: April 17, 2011Historical 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.