Monday, January 17, 2011

The Irish Princess-Karen Harper

The Irish Princess
Karen Harper
NAL, Feb 1 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780451232823

For the first tens of her life, Elizabeth “Gera” Fitzgerald is happy as her family is caring and loving and the patriarch a powerful lord in Ireland especially in County Kildare. Her idyllic childhood ends when King Henry VIII who also rules over Ireland orders Lord Fitzgerald to give an accounting of his seditious activities. Fitzgerald’s denial is ignored as the monarch locks him away in the Tower where he dies.

The King proclaims the extended Fitzgerald family as traitors to the throne for their activities in support of a free Ireland; this leads to the execution without a jury of peers’ trial of Gera’s uncles, her older brothers and several other males. The family arrives in London to beg for clemency and pledge their loyalty to Henry. Raging, but concealing her feelings about the ruthless monarch, Gera plots to kill His Highness even if it means her execution. While feeling a sense of sisterly camaraderie with Henry’s estranged daughters and controlling her attraction to Lord Clinton as sixteen year old she marries Lord Browne to gain easier royal access; as Gera waits for the right moment to cut the royal throat as she doubts he has a heart.

This is a super Tudor biographical fiction of the “Fair Geraldine”, immortalized in a sonnet when she was ten years old. Her goals were killing Henry for murdering her family and to regain their noble standing stripped away by the ruler. The story line provides a fresh perspective to the deadly politics at the court of King Henry VIII starting with a terrific prologue as fans of the Tudor period will appreciate The Irish Princess who refused to back away from her own objectives.

Harriet Klausner

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