First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Alexandra Walsh, and Sapere Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.
After an explosive opening novel in her Tudor trilogy, Alexandra Walsh returns with another instalment, building on some of the mysteries revealed in the opening piece. Perdita Rivers and her sister, Piper, are still trying to wrap their heads around the fact that their grandmother left them a massive estate and countless pieces of her research. However, with that comes the fear of being hunted by an elusive part of the British Government. While away for a wedding, the sisters discover new mysteries tied to the knowledge that Catherine Howard—Henry VIII’s fifth wife—had twins by the king, but they were hidden away. Now, in a mystery that ties to the reign of Elizabeth I, Perdita and Piper learn what became of the twins and how Elizabeth contemplated the Tudor secession based on this information. In secret correspondence, Elizabeth and her closest ladies discussed the news, using jewels to pass the most important of all their news. However, with Philip II of Spain seeking to overthrow Elizabeth and trying to take over the English Throne, the Tudor line (and England herself) are in dire straits, particularly because news of the Howard twins has somehow made it to the continent. As Perdita learns more, she stumbles to discover how it was all revealed and what Elizabeth did to protect herself and the Crown from Spanish interference. Told in two timeline narratives, Walsh keeps the reader hooked until the final pages with this mystery that still has one final piece to tie it all together. Wonderful in its presentation, fans of Tudor history will enjoy this piece, as long as they can keep an open mind about fictional accounts. Recommended to those who love a good historical mystery, as well as those who love the life of the Tudors.
Having read a few other books by this publisher, I was offered an early copy of the first novel in the series. When I noticed a second book was ready for pre-release, I leapt at the opportunity, knowing that Alexandra Walsh would not disappoint. The detail found in this book forces the reader to decipher truth from fiction throughout, hoping the find the thread of the story and using newly unearthed pieces of the historical narrative to entertain the curious reader. Perdita’s character has less of a backstory in this novel, but her ability to piece together some more of the Tudor history keeps the reader enthralled throughout. Seeking to uncover some of the lesser known aspects of Tudor history and genealogy fuels a great narrative and allows the reader to feel fully involved in the process. Other characters in the novel, including Elizabeth I, provide an exciting flavour to the story, serving not only to propel the history of the story forward but also offering exciting plots for the reader to enjoy throughout. The premise of this book was as exciting as the first, building on some of the scandalous revelations. Walsh spins an effective and plausible version of events, which she substantiates in her author’s note at the end of the piece. So much to digest and some ideas that could offer Tudor fans much to consider as they rush to the history books to cross-reference some of the narrative’s most outlandish claims. All in all, a wonderful read and it has left me pining for the third book.
Kudos, Madam Walsh, for another wonderful novel. This series has me curious and I hope to learn more in short order.
A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons