Tuesday, August 25, 2015

If You Love Stories About Royals

I have a thing for books about royalty. I love them and find it fascinating, especially since it's based on real people. I find books about royalty possess more drama than a Real Housewives episode.  Here are some of my favorites and if I reviewed the novel on my blog, I linked it to my review.

Philippa Gregory's Cousins' War Series:

1.  The White Queen - This is my favorite novel of the series. If focuses on Elizabeth's Woodville's rise at court and the War of the Roses.

2.  The Red Queen - This novel is from Lady Margaret Beaufort's perspective and she is one bad ass lady.  She will do anything to put her son Henry Tudor on the throne. 

3.  The Lady of the Rivers - This book reads like a prequel to The White Queen. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Jacquetta, Elizabeth Woodville's mother, and her "second sight."

4.  The Kingmaker's Daughter - The story follows Anne Neville, who is the daughter of the Earl of Warwick, otherwise known at The Kingmaker. He uses his daughter as a chess piece, which makes for an entertaining novel. 

5.  The White Princess - This novel focuses on Elizabeth of York, who is the daughter of Elizabeth Woodville (The White Queen) and mother to the infamous Henry VIII.  It's a captivating glimpse into her life as well as her political marriage.

6.  The King's Curse - When compared to the other books in the series, I thought this book was just ok. It is from Lady Margaret Pole's perspective, cousin to Elizabeth of York, so it's interesting to see how everything played out at court through someone on the sideline's view point.  This novel also focuses on the alleged Tudor curse. 

7.  Women of the Cousins' War  - A nonfiction read about the women involved in the War of the Roses.

Philippa Gregory's Tudor Court Series:

1.  The Constant Princess - This is one of my favorite novels from the series. It focuses on Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife.  We all know what happened, but getting it from Katherine's perspective is very interesting. 

2.  The Other Boleyn Girl - This is one of Gregory's best novels focusing on the infamous Anne Boleyn and her sister, Mary.  

3.  The Boleyn Inheritance - A very well written novel focusing on three women: Anne of Cleves (Henry VIII's fourth wife), Katherine Howard (Henry VIII's fifth wife and Anne Boleyn's cousin) and Jane Rochford (George Boleyn's wife--her testimony sent her husband and sister-in-law to their deaths!)

4.  The Queen's Fool - A young girl with the "sight" is hired by Lord Dudley to be his aide and then she works as a "fool" at court, slowly becoming friends with Queen Mary and also the future Queen Elizabeth.

5.  The Virgin's Lover - For me, this was just an ok read when compared to Gregory's other novels in the series. This one focuses on Elizabeth I and her rise to the throne as well as the issue of whom she will marry.  

6.  The Other Queen - This is my least favorite book from the series. It focuses on Mary Queen of Scots, who is extremely fascinating, but unfortunately, she did not sparkle in this novel. 

Other Tudor Novels:
  • The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell (Anne's life and untimely death)
  • The Six Wives by Henry VIII by Alison Weir (Non-fiction, but a fascinating read!)
  • Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir - (Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Days' Queen)
  • Queen's Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle - (Katherine Parr, Henry VII's last wife)
  • A Dangerous Inheritance by Alison Weir (Lady Katherine Grey and also deals with the mystery surrounding Princes in the tower)
  • To Serve a King by Donna Russo Morin - (Henry VIII's spy at the French Court)
  • Brazen by Katherine Longshore  - (A YA novel about Mary Howard - married off to Henry VIII's illegitimate son)
  • Tarnish by Katherine Longshore - A YA novel about Anne Boleyn)
  • Gilt by Katherine Longshore - (A YA novel about Katherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife)

Miscellaneous Stories Involving Royals:

  • The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (A modern day royal tale inspired by Kate Middleton and Prince William's real-life romance)
  • The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki - (Empress Elizabeth of Austria - a fascinating glimpse into her life)
  • Lady Catherine, the Earl and the Real Downton Abbey by Fiona Carnarvon (If you love Downton Abbey, you'll enjoy this book about the real people that resided there)
  • The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin - (A wealthy American becomes an English Duchess)
  • Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman (A fascinating biography of Georgiana, ancestor to Diana Princess of Wales, who lived wildly during George III's reign)
  • The Other Countess by Eve Edwards (YA novel about a Spanish Countess who enters Elizabethan court along with her alchemy studying father)

Other "Royal" Novels On My TBR List:

  • Captive Queen by Alison Weir
  • We Two: Victoria and Albert by Gillian Gill
  • Mary Boleyn: Mistress of Kings by Alison Weir
  • The Wild Queen: The Days and Nights of Mary Queen of Scots by Carolyn Meyer
  • Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her World by Alison Weir
  • Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories From History Without the Fairy Tale Endings by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
  • Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by Fiona Carnarvon
  • Catherine the Great by Robert J. Massie
  • The Boleyn Bride by Brandy Purdy
  • The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great by Eva Stachinak
  • The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory (due out the end of August)
  • The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie (Pub. Date September 2015)
  • The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright (Due out in early 2016)

So, what do you think of my list? Any "Royal" novels that you'd like to recommend to me? Let me know in the comments below.  


  1. I really need to start reading her books again. Someday soon, I hope. These are great recommendations, Christina! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Fun list! I love reading Tudor fiction and books about royals. I've only read a few of Philippa Gregory's books. I liked the Katherine Longshore book Tarnish even though I knew what would happen. I loved Alison Weir's Tudor nonfiction books.

    I just finished reading Maid of Wonder by Jennifer McGowan, the third book in her YA historical mystery series set at the court of Elizabeth I. The first book was Maid of Secrets.

    I love Rhys Bowen's Her Royal Spyness. That series features a fictional great granddaughter of Queen Victoria as an amateur sleuth but it also includes plenty of real historical figures like Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson and a young Princess Elizabeth.

    1. Thanks, Christina! I will have to check out Maid of Secrets...I've seen the covers around, but never picked them up! Thanks for the other recommendations. I love the idea of Queen Victoria's granddaughter being a sleuth! Fun! Thanks for visiting, Christina!

  3. I really would love to read The Royal We; I've heard lots of great things about it! I did read American Heiress and I really enjoyed it. This is such a great list, Christina!!

    1. The Royal We is one of my favorite books of the year- so fun! I hope you get to read it soon. Thanks for checking out my list, Tara!

  4. Wow, this is the best list ever!! I really want to read The White Queen and The Royal We. I'm going to check out some more from your list as well!

    1. Thanks, Christy! I think you'd like both books, especially The Royal We---it was such a fun summertime read! Thanks for visiting!


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