The Constant Princess (The Tudor Court Book 1) by Philippa Gregory
I have never taken any interest in historical fiction, i hated history at school and never really learnt anything about the history of the UK, i vaguely remember learning about trenches but the rest is an absolute blip. I really dont know why i picked this book up, id heard good things and the cover was pretty, it was also an absolute bargain of £1.99.
The story begins in Spain, 1491. The first 50 or so pages i was convinced that i was going to put the book down as a DNF (did not finish) but then something just clicked, i just got it from that point on and it has been an unbelievable page turner!
Dont get me wrong, i didnt have a clue what was going on, Catalina was the female protagonist and i was thinking surely i remember her being called Catherine and she also married Arthur and i was thinking wait a minute i thought this book was about Katherine of Aragon who was the first wife of Henry the eighth. I had to do a little research but i found that this Philippa woman is on point, not only is this book a remarkable work of fiction it is also for the most part historically accurate.
Catherine is a most enjoyable character and you really grow to admire her resistance, even from a young age she is remarkably sensible and mature. Arthur really grows on you, at first i had great distaste for him but after time the character development is really apparent and i found myself caring about what was to become of him. If you read the back of the book or indeed know anything about the Tudor monarchy, you will be aware that Arthur dies a premature death and Catalina/Katherine sets her sights on becoming queen of England, the only way to ensure this is to marry Arthur's younger brother Henry.
Henry is not a very likeable character even from the beginning he is attention seeking and immature. Although, he proves himself later on when he is a little older but only for a while then he reverts back to his childish selfish tendencies. Things did not go to well for Katherine, all she desired was to be a good queen. Poor gal.
To conclude, this story is fascinating to both history buffs and people who arent into history. Its historically accurate, due to the authors Phd. Great read.