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Critical Praise

"The book’s greatest strength is its first-hand, fascinating yet horrifying view of Henry VIII’s transition from handsome young prince to monstrous tyrant…Gregory takes us beyond the seductive trappings of historical detail and makes us feel the terror of what living through that turbulent period might have been like.”

—Miami Herald

“Without a doubt, Gregory has made another powerful addition to the genre (so much so that I hesitate to even call it historical fiction). This historian’s extensive knowledge of the English monarchy truly brings this famous story to life.”  

—The Sun-News (Myrtle Beach)

“An excellent addition to the Tudor royalty genre, not only for its unique perspective, but also the easy flow of the narrative and the intriguing complexities of characters’ personalities."

—Historical Novel Society

"[A] gripping and detailed chronicle, with plenty of court intrigue and politics to spice up the action…Highly recommended."

—Library Journal (starred review)

"Nobody does dynastic history like Gregory."


"Gregory manages to keep us in suspense as to what will befall her characters...Under [her] spell, we keep hoping history won't repeat itself."

—Kirkus Reviews

"An illuminating portrait…Gregory moves confidently through a tangle of intrigue, revenge, and tyranny toward a shocking betrayal."

—Publishers Weekly

"The queen of royal fiction."

—USA Today



"There's no question that she is the best at what she does."

—Associated Press

"Philippa Gregory turns real-life historical royalty into royally entertaining novels."


"If only grade-school history books were written so vividly."

—Entertainment Weekly

"In thoroughly researched, wonderfully realized settings, she can make a period come alive."

—The Boston Globe

"Gregory...always delivers the goods."

—New York Post

"Gorgeous fun."

—New York Daily News

"Margaret’s story is shocking, deeply moving and offers an alternative view on a much-told tale. Gregory is on form here; her depiction of Henry VIII’s transformation from indulged golden boy to sinister tyrant is perfectly pitched and seems more horrific still when we are made intimate witnesses to the devastation of Margaret’s family…I defy anyone to remain dry-eyed as the story reaches its tragic denouement."

—The Sunday Express (UK)

"Infuses vitality into an oft-forgotten player in the aftermath of the War of the Roses --- Margaret Poole, heiress to the defeated Plantagenet clan."