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What made the experience of listening to The Queen's Lady the most enjoyable?
The narrator had such an expressive voice that it was a joy to keep listening. All the action, romance and terror were evident in her voice and it really drew me in. It was a pleasant surprise to notice that the author was also the narrator!
What other book might you compare The Queen's Lady to and why?
Well since this is the first of a series I would compare it to the one other book in the series I have read (Blood Between Queens). I would also compare it to books by Philippa Gregory or Alison Weir. They are my other favorite writers of Tudor historical fiction and all these authors have a wonderfully descriptive and thrilling way of keeping the reader turning the pages (or continuing to listen in this case).
What does Barbara Kyle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Her way of bringing feeling and inflection into the character's dialogue. While I know I would love reading the novel as well (and plan on reading the rest of the series) her voice was simply captivating and made it a really enjoyable experience.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
The biggest reaction I had was anxiety when the characters were in danger. I found my heart beating faster and my breathing changing when they were in the middle of the action...I just wasn't sure what was going to happen!
Any additional comments?
When I read Blood Between Queens, the fifth book in the Thornleigh series, I was hooked! Being a huge fan of any novels that take place during Tudor times I was happy to see the well known history shown from the perspective of this fictional yet very real feeling family that have been tangled up in the world of the court since the beginning of Henry VIII's rule. But starting the series on book five brought up just as many questions as were answered. What brought these captivating people into the vicious world of the Tudor court? How had the family rivalry affecting our main heroine come to be? That being said, when I had the opportunity to listen to the audiobook version of the first novel in the series, The Queen's Lady, I jumped at the chance. And, I'm happy to say, I was not disappointed!
The Queen's Lady tells the story of Honor Larke, a young heiress that becomes the ward of Thomas More after a horrific kidnapping and rescue. Under the tutelage of More, Honor grows to become an intelligent and caring young woman, firm in the belief that her guardian can do no wrong. That is until he does...
As a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon, Honor is astounded to see the great Henry VIII try and thrust his devout and loving wife aside for the brash and grasping Anne Boleyn. Deciding to do all she can for her mistress, Honor begins carrying letters from the Queen to her allies. As she gets deeper and deeper involved, often putting her own life in danger, she begins to question everything she grew up believing, including the teachings of More. Her beliefs are further confounded when she begins working with Richard Thornleigh, a daring and reckless man who at first annoys Honor to no end but ends up winning her heart. As their relationship continues to evolve Honor must decide what is most important to her: the good she can do by continuing her work as a spy or the love and home Richard can provide for her?
Honor is such a wonderful character, full of spunk, bravery and humor. I loved watching her continue to struggle with her political and religious beliefs as well as her complicated love with Richard Thornleigh. I now feel like I have a good bases for the series and cannot wait to read the next three books in the series and any other that come after that.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Save your credits! The storyline of this novel is saccharine sweet and implausible. The character's are flat, the dramatic twists are trite, and there was clearly next to no research done on the time period. The writing is as poor as an archetypal romance novel, but without the hanky-panky that makes wading through painfully bad dialogue and clumsy imagery almost worth it. And one of the main themes of the novel is that Thomas Moore and this girl have some sort of restrained romance. Really? Moore? The man whose love for his wife was so famous that it was a huge joke for the court? The man who would rather die then say it was okay for the king to put aside his wife? Come on!
But even if this novel was a literary masterpiece, the narration would still make it an unbearable listen. This is exactly why authors should never be permitted to narrate their own work. Kyle is clearly a senior citizen narrating the part of a teenage girl, which stretches credulity from the start. And frankly, every time Kyle talks about "the swell of Honor's [the protagonists] breasts," I found it downright creepy. But that's not the main objection. She's simply untrained. Her phrasing is bad, her portrayal of any emotion is blown way out of proportion, and did I mention that it's creepy when she talks about the protagonist's body parts? She puts on this I'm-trying-to-be-sultry voice and talks about Honor's lips feeling so full or how a pearl necklace dangles temptingly between her boobs and it's almost funny. It sounds like what would happen if my grandma was making fun of those phone porn hotlines. I don't know if she didn't feel the need to have a voice coach, or if she just has no talent, but the result is the same. Take my advice, and choose a different book!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful