‘Eliza Rose’ by Lucy Worsley

354p

2016

Bloomsbury

Bought

51qrdxiaeul-_sx325_bo1204203200_Growing up in the bleak and crumbling Stoneton Castle, Eliza Camperdowne has always known that as her family’s only heir, it was her duty to marry the son of a wealthy family in order to restore her family’s fortunes.

When Eliza is twelve, she is betrothed to the son of the Earl of Westmorland, even though she has not met him. Months later, there is news that King Henry VIII and Queen Jane will be visiting at her betrothed’s house. Eliza’s delighted to know that she will meet the monarch, when she will also first meet her husband-to-be. During this first visit, Eliza goes against her strict aunt’s orders and is shamed in front of the court. Much to her disappointment and anger she is taken home in disgrace, her betrothal broken.

Once at home, Eliza’s widowed father decides to send her away to her relative, the Duchess of Northumberland. There, for a few years, Eliza is taught with other girls her age how to be a satisfactory Maid of Honour, and all the courtly ways, as well as how to perform the duties of a wife.

When Eliza is fifteen, she and Katherine Howard, her cousin and rival, are sent to court to become Maids of Honour for the King’s new wife, Anne of Cleves. Eliza struggles at first to catch on to how the court works and all it’s drama and intrigue that lies bubbling beneath the shiny surface. But when the King divorces Queen Anne, Eliza sees a chance that may solve her family’s financial problems. With everything to play for, will she be able to win the dangerous courtly games and become the next queen?

Eliza Rose is Lucy Worsley’s first fictional book for young teens, and I absolutely loved it. The plot was exciting and well written, and I really appreciated the amount of detail that Lucy included. I’m a major fan of the Tudor period as it was such an interesting time in English history, and I enjoyed reading this new take on the role of a Maid of Honour.

When I first started reading Eliza Rose, I assumed that it would be for readers a bit younger than myself, but I was quite surprised to discover that it was perfectly suited to my tastes as a fourteen year old. I whole-heartedly recommend Eliza Rose for anyone who likes historical fiction, with adventure, intrigue, and a splash of romance mixed in!

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