Cover Image: The King's Pleasure

The King's Pleasure

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Member Reviews

As always, an excellent novel written by the author. Even though I knew quite a lot about Henry VIII (I read all novels and most non fiction by the author), I greedily read and enjoyed this novel! As always, the historical background has been meticulously researched, making Alison Weir not only a great novelist but a great historian as well.
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Thanks to Ballentine Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy of The King's Pleasure in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

History is cyclical. For a while, we only heard about the important men that ruled countries. Then, there was a spurt of interest in the women that lived and loved them. Alison Weir has made a career of writing about the wives of Henry VIII, and now she tells Henry's story from his perspective, from his childhood through his death. 

As someone who has a read a lot of Weir's previous books on the wives of Henry VIII, I was excited to have the opportunity to read a book by her from Henry's perspective. There was no new information in this book for me, but I still enjoyed reading it and looking at the history through his eyes. Of course, even though the book is about Henry, I loved how Weir portrayed the wives. 

If you enjoy Tudor historical fiction (and who among us didn't go through a wives of Henry VIII phase?), you'll want to put this one on your TBR immediately.
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I loved each of the books in The Six Queens series by Alison Weir, and I was very excited to read The King's Pleasure to get the story from his perspective. Unfortunately,  I didn't love it 😔 

The King's Pleasure follows Henry VIII through his entire life. It covers the time from before he became king and during each of his marriages.  I'm not sure if it was because of the familiarity of the story or that I have read a lot of novels featuring Henry VIII, but I couldn't get into this book.  It felt long to me and didn't introduce anything that I hadn't read about him before.

I was interested in reading the author's interpretation of what Henry VIII would be thinking in the situations.  I love Weir's writing, obvious research, and wealth of knowledge on the Tudors.  She is creative while showing respect to the context and historical figures.
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I've been fascinated and borderline obsessed with Tudor history for years. I've read a lot of books on the subject and quite a few of those were written by Alison Weir, so I was thrilled for the opportunity to read her newest novel. It sounded very intriguing to read about the reign of Henry VIII from his perspective. I did enjoy this book overall, but not as much as I expected.

This didn't feel like a historical fiction novel. It was like reading Henry's personal journal. The same effect as if someone writes a Tudor book report where you're getting historical events in their own words. No plot points that build up to a climax. To be fair, I know what happens so that could definitely account for the lack of excitement or suspense. It's also a very long read, which is necessary considering how much occurred in his reign, but it started to drag after a while. 

I enjoyed a lot of Henry's observations, especially early on. It's almost sad to see Henry go from a young, exuberant king to a full-blown tyrannical monster. This book gives the reader the opportunity to experience that change in a more detailed and personal manner. There's definitely a lot to appreciate about this book, though I think someone who hasn't read a ton of Tudor history would likely enjoy it more. 

Thank you to Alison Weir, Ballantine Books and NetGalley for providing this advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.
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This book really just took me for a ride. I loved the build up, the character development, and the writing. I would definitely read more from this author!
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I tell everyone that I m a huge Weir fan. But I think I need to finally admit I am not as strong a fan of her historical fiction. My opinion is historical fiction is so easy for her to write because she has already done all of the research for her brilliant nonfiction works that she writes these puff pieces to capture a different audience. And I’ve definitely recommended these novels to those who need an introduction to the past, but I just don’t enjoy the historical fiction because of the type of storytelling that occurs. Nothing at all against Weir personally. She’s an amazing author and historian and I will continue to purchase her books.
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Fantastic book.  Well written.  I enjoyed this novel, I’ve read all 6 of the wives stories and greatly loved reading Henry’s view.   I think he was somewhat naive and easily influenced, especially by the ruthless people around him.   
A wonderful read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction or Alison Weir
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Alison Weir is right, we remain fascinated by King Henry VIII 500 years later.  In this book, Weir gives us insights into all aspects of the man, not just his 6 wives and all the people he had beheaded.  His legacy changed so many aspects of life, and there were many good things to go along with the negative. Weir has researched and written about Henry & his wives for decades.
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This book walks a fine line between making Henry relatable and acknowledging the extreme narcissism that goes part and parcel with being a 16th century monarch.  The story primarily focuses on Henry's romantic relationships (as one does).  In general, I enjoyed this, and of course I always trust Weir's factual foundations, but I also have to admit that I much preferred the novels of Henry's wives.  It's just very, very hard to be truly sympathetic to Henry's extreme selfishness.
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Wow! This book is SO GOOD! It is intriguing, gripping, incredibly well-researched, historical, and so much more! Whenever I picked up "The King's Pleasure", I was whisked back in time to the Tudor Era, and did not want to put this book down.

Alison Weir is such a phenomenal author! Her writing style makes history jump to life right off of the page, and she seamlessly weaves history and historical fiction...and this book is simply impossible to put down! 

Told from the perspective of King Henry VIII, this historical fiction novel covers a large period of his life, beginning before he becomes King. It was really interesting to see his thoughts on many historical moments, and the story progresses quickly as he grows older with time.

If you enjoy historical fiction and / or anything relating to the Tudor Era, I highly recommend this book! I so look forward to reading what Ms. Weir writes next.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine (Ballantine Books) for the ARC of this novel! All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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This is the second book in the author's Tudor Rose trilogy. It is also Alison Weir’s first fiction novel told from the view of a male. I was excited to read something written from Henry VIII’s point of view since most novels about him are about his wives and from their point of view. I’ve already read Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series, so I have her perspective in that aspect, but they are not necessary to read to read this book.

The book starts with the death of Elizabeth of York and how affected Henry was by it. I’m not sure if it was intended, but to me that loss was the overarching theme of the book. Even though his childhood was briefly shown in the book, it was enough to show how it shaped him, his marriages, his reign and ultimately his political policies. I feel it does an excellent job of putting together not only Weir’s nonfiction work about Henry VIII, but also other nonfiction work. 

The main thing Henry VII is known for is his wives and I really liked how all his marriages were shown. I was frustrated that all the wives were shown as villains at some point, but I realized that was because this was from Henry’s point of view and that it evoked that reaction just gives testament to the view of women at the time and the excellent writing. It also showed that he was striving to find a wife that would give him an heir and every time that didn’t happen, he believed she didn’t live up to the saintly standard his mother left him with. When Katherine of Aragon failed in that, it bled into his subsequent marriages. While his later wives were not as in depth because of the length of their marriages, it did accurately portray how their marriages affected policy. 

This book also showed how volatile the Tudor Court was and the scheming that went on behind the scenes. It is well documented that Henry was easily led, by wives and favorites, and this book showed how that was made possible. This aspect also showed how his paranoia about the Plantagenet’s really stemmed from his father’s lessons when he became the heir. I was glad Weir did not shy away from the bad things Henry did and showed them honestly. I think her depiction of Charles Brandon as his only true friend was also incredibly accurate, especially compared to the other men he had ennobled that worked him to their advantage.

I was a bit disappointed by how short the Author’s Note was in this, but as I read an ARC, it may be longer in the published version that I have not bought yet. I am used to a longer note that details all the fictional aspects used and, in the ARC, only one of these was covered and not the one I was hoping for. But that disappointment is my own preference and does not take away anything from the story. Anyone reading without the extensive background I have on Tudor history probably would not even recognize it is not something documented. This book was a solid 4.5 stars of 5 and another excellent book by Alison Weir.

Thank you to NetGalley, Random House/Ballantine Publishing and Alison Weir for the electronic ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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There are too many books about the Tudors out there to count, but in The King's Pleasure, Alison Weir does something few authors have tried: she tells Henry VIII's entire life story through his point of view. Weir is an historian and nonfiction writer above all else, so her fictional writing reads more like narrativized history than a traditional novel (the closest example I can think of is George R.R. Martin's Fire and Blood). This was not a deterrent for me, however; I always walk away from Weir's fictional stories feeling like I learned something new, and this was no exception.

There are some drawbacks to this writing style. Because of the sheer amount of time this story spans, there were many passages merely summarizing what was happening in Henry's life, and the parade of wives that have made him so famous (and is what arguably draws most readers to this time period) doesn't really come into play until the second half of the book. But what made The King's Pleasure so remarkable to me was how empathetic it was to its main character. By telling the story from Henry's perspective, a much more sympathetic and reasonable man emerges than the mad king we're all used to. Henry's actions are as cruel and erratic as ever, but they're bolstered by a sincerity often missing from other portrayals. Through Henry's eyes, we get to understand why he acted the way he did, and even sympathize with the man who felt so defeated by the circumstances of his life.
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This book was a great addition to the Six Tudor Queens series!  It was such a wonderful change of pace to read about Henry from his point of view.  I love the fact that it went from his childhood all the way through to his death.  The only thing I wish would have been better is a more in depth look at his marriages from his point of view.  It seemed to mainly focus on Katherine and Anne and just skim over the rest.  Other than that it was a great read and well researched as all her books are.
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Such a great book. I love all of Alison Weir's previous issuing regarding the wives of Henry VIII and this was no different. The story follows Henry VIII himself with a more contemporary view of his life and his outlook. The story, as well known as it is, was given new life by this retelling and I would highly recommend that anyone who enjoys Tudor historical fiction read this. It also gives an insight into the actual historical goings on with his wives as well - looking at them from a more contemporary viewpoint. 
If you love historical fiction, you'll love this!
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First line: He had cried for hours.

Summary: Henry Tudor was not expected to be king of England. However, after the death of his elder brother, Arthur, he is thrust into the limelight and is the hope for the Tudor dynasty. As he makes his way to kingship he is awed by the beauty of his brother’s widow, Katherine of Aragon. He is determined to make her his wife. His reign is bound to be a renaissance for the English people but the king who had grand plans for his reign is now remembered for his multiple wives, religious upheaval and countless executions. Alison Weir brings to life the story of the man who has intrigued historians and readers for centuries with a look into his motivations and hopes for his rule.

My Thoughts: So much has been written about the wives of Henry VIII but few novels have looked into Henry’s point of view of the events of his life. It was an interesting peak into what Weir believes his motivations were during his reign. A majority of the book spends time on his marriage with Katherine of Aragon and the pursuit of Anne Boleyn but then the rest of the book speeds through the other four wives.

I enjoyed this insight but I felt like much of it was easy to gather from seeing how he treated his wives. For fans of the Tudor period will enjoy it and it’s a good intro for newcomers but it was nothing overly exciting. I am more looking forward to the book on Mary I since I have read few books with her as the protagonist.
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Another amazing historical fiction book from Alison Weir. Ms. Weir has covered all of King Henry's wives, this time she covers the life of King Henry himself. If you are a fan of Tudor history this is a must. It does feel a little long, but there is so much history to cover. I think this would have been good as a two part book. Nevertheless, this is a great novel.
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Thank you to the above-mentioned and #netgalley for the #giftedecopy in exchange for my unbiased review. 

Alison Weir once again proves she is one of the undisputed queens of historical fiction with her newly released novel told from the perspective of Henry VIII! She has long been one of my favorites, so I was ecstatic to be asked to review her new book by her publisher.
This new book was just as addicting as her others! Proof? Well, it is 23 hours of listening/reading, and I finished in two days' time! Her writing is so smooth, I forget I am living in the present, and I am thrust back into the 1500s! Since I read the ebook along with the audiobook, I have to give a shout-out to the awesome narrator, Rosalyn Landor. She has so many different characters to voice and does them all justice! If you like Tudor History, you will want to get a copy of this book!
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I’m a huge fan of Tudor historical fiction.  I’ve read so many books on this era of history but most have been focused on the females telling their story such as Weir’s previous series of the six wives of Henry VIII or the first book in this series which is about Henry’s mother.

This is the first time I’ve read a book from King Henry VIII’s point of view and I found it fascinating.  And completely believable with few embellishments. I completely agree that Henry refused to see the truth and mostly lived in his own little made up world.  He justified so much based on what everyone around him was telling him, and believed whatever was best for him.  He seemed to be very gullible.  

I have watched shows like The Tudors and Wolf Hall and the history all tells the basic same stories. And I can never get enough. 

I enjoyed this version from Weir very much and prefer her fiction novels so much more than her non-fiction.  I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.  I’m truly Tudor obsessed when it comes to Weir’s historical fiction.  

*Thanks so much to Random House Ballantine Books and NetGalley for the advance eGalley.*
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Alison Weir is the queen of history books featuring British royalty. This has also given her a very authentic voice for her historical fiction foray’s, and this book is no different. Factual events are woven throughout the story, so even if you know little to nothing about Henry VIII you’ll still get a bit of education with your entertainment. 

Thank you to NetGalley & Ballantine Books for this advance reader copy. All opinions are my own.
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Alison Wier paints a comprehensive, human portrait of Henry VIII in the second of the Tudor Rose series.  Her historical novels are obviously painstakingly researched yet read like delicious gossip.  We follow Henry from his petulant pre-teen years through his days of glory as a most beloved king.  His pettiness and jealousies cause many casualties throughout his life, and at the end, he is a rather tragic figure. The writing makes the book hum along, with beautiful descriptions thoughout.  I will continue to read and recommend historical fiction by Weir.
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