Libby, Alisa. 2009. THE KING’S ROSE. New York: Penguin. ISBN 9780525479703 [Suggested Grade Levels 9- 12]
THE KING’S ROSE is a fictionalized account of Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII. She was just fifteen (perhaps even fourteen) when she caught the lusty eye of the King. From the moment she became “the king’s rose,” Catherine—for better or worse—had no choice in the matter. She was his to claim, possess, and dispose of as he saw fit. And every rose does have its thorn, doesn’t it? So Catherine has hers. So young, so passionate, is it any wonder that her eyes might wander to someone closer her own age? Catherine’s secrets—from her past and present—may just lead to her undoing.
Libby is an incredible storyteller. The story is rich in detail making it easy for readers to become completely hooked in the world of the Tudor court. It’s suspenseful as well. Though most readers may know the tragic ending that is coming, the story is so beautifully and lusciously told that it makes it hard to put down.
Encourage discussion about how imagery was used throughout the novel, how the author creates sympathetic characters, what role Catherine’s family played in her downfall.
Other novels about royalty:
Meyer, Carolyn. BEWARE, PRINCESS ELIZABETH. ISBN 9780152045562
Meyer, Carolyn. DOOMED QUEEN ANNE. ISBN 9780152050863
Meyer, Carolyn. MARY, BLOODY MARY. ISBN 9780152164560
Meyer, Carolyn. PATIENCE, PRINCESS CATHERINE. ISBN 9780152054472
Rinaldi, Ann. NINE DAYS A QUEEN. ISBN 9780060549251
Rinaldi, Ann. REDHEADED PRINCESS. ISBN 9780060733742