Thursday 7 June 2012

Review - The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd

My thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster / Howard Books for a pre-publication e-copy to read and review.

The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr


Sandra Byrd

(Ladies in waiting -Book Two )

The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr
Published June 5th 2012 by Howard Books

My Review

The story of Henry VIII’s courtship and marriage to his last Queen, Katherine Parr, is well documented. This fictional version, told by one of Kateryn’s maids of honour, Juliana St John, is an interesting interpretation, and continues the long held belief that Kateryn was a wise, intelligent and generous woman, who was bound in marriage to a belligerent and irascible old man.
Juliana is a thoughtful narrator; her allegiance to her queen is exemplary, and yet when this commitment to duty is combined with Juliana’s unique gift of prophecy, her loyalty is put to the test. The Tudor court is portrayed as a scheming hotchpotch of rivalry and intrigue, in a time when religious and political mania was rife.
Sandra Byrd has captured the fundamental spirit of the Tudor court; her apparent knowledge of the Tudor period is evident throughout the story, as she seamlessly blends fact and fiction. Overall, I enjoyed this account of the latter years of Henry’s reign, and it was interesting to see Kateryn’s story continue into her ill- fated marriage to Thomas Seymour. There is an underlying gentleness to the story but this doesn't detract from the portrayal of the Tudor court with all its faults and failings.

If you enjoy historical romance in the style of  Ella March Chase, Diane Haeger, Emily Purdy, Darcey Bonnette, and Anne O'Brien then I am sure you won't be disappointed.

Sandra Byrd is the author of several historical romance books.

Published August 9th 2011 by Howard Books 

 A Novel of Anne Boleyn
Book One in the Ladies in Waiting series

A Novel of Elizabeth I

is due to be published in 2013


  1. Thank you very much, Jo and Jaffa, for reading and reviewing my book!

    1. Hi Sandra - Jaffa and I are thrilled that you stopped by to read our review of your book The Secret keeper.

      Best of Luck x


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