Suzannah Dunn is the author of ten books, all of which have been critically acclaimed. She has written three previous historical novels: The Queen of Subtleties, The Sixth Wife and The Queen's Sorrow.
A historically obscure lady-in-waiting provides aÅwindow into the rise and fall of Henry VIII's young fifth queen inÅthe competent latest from Dunn (The Sixth Wife). The teenage CatÅTilney is raised in the company of the attractive andÅsexually precocious Katherine Howard in the household of a distant relation, the well-connected dowager duchess of Norfolk. Cat becomes Katherine's confidanteÅand eventually follows her to court when she is made queen, and, as oneÅof the few privy to the queen's secret affairs, Cat lands in a dangerous position when Katherine's romantic history becomes known and a ruthless investigation spreads to include Cat's own lover, Francis Dereham. Working from only a few references in theÅsurviving records of the investigation, Dunn constructs the taleÅof a teenage girl in thrall to a more charismatic friend and the testÅof her loyalty. Though Dunn'sÅmodernization of the language can result inÅanachronistic turns of phrase, this is a convincing portrayal of youngÅwomen made pawns in the dangerous politics of the Tudor court. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In her fourth historical novel, Dunn (The Queen of Subtleties; The Sixth Wife; The Queen's Sorrow) accomplishes the immense task of chronicling the life and personality of Henry VIII's fifth wife, Katherine Howard (1524-42), with consummate skill, exceptional creativity, and a laudable attention to detail. Told from the perspective of Cat Tilney, who was a ward of the Duchess of Norfolk like Katherine, the novel follows the allied ladies as they progress from childhood to womanhood. Unlike other novels about the ill-fated queen, Dunn's Katherine is neither ignorant nor flighty but rather a young woman caught in the world she shaped after being all but abandoned by her family. Don't label Dunn's book as a new twist on an old tale, however, for it is much more than that; Katherine's relationship with Francis Dereham, which would later be her undoing, is shown for what it very possibly could have been and what it is rarely acknowledged as-a childhood crush. VERDICT An absolutely essential read for Tudor-infatuated and historical fiction fans.-Audrey M. Johnson, Arlington, VA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Praise for 'The Sixth Wife':
'My, what a story... utterly compelling.' The Times
'Suzannah Dunn...weaves...a love story that is both moving and believable...of second chances at love, and passion reawakened.' Telegraph
'Mesmerising and beautifully written.' Scotsman
'Suzannah Dunn...weaves a kind of love story that is both moving and believable. This is the Tudor world as seldom seen.' Telegraph
Praise for The Queen of Subtleties:
'The Queen of Subtleties' offers a stunningly refreshing way of retelling an old story. I often abandon historical novels nowadays, but I really could not put this one down. It brings Anne Boleyn to life as never before, and, probably for the first time ever in fiction, Henry VIII emerges as a truly credible character in an authentic setting.' Alison Weir