Book Title: Songbird
Series: The Tudor Court, Book I
Author: Karen Heenan
Narrator: Jennifer Summerfield
Publication Date: November 3, 2019
Publisher: Authors4Authors Publishing Cooperative
Page Length: 300 pages
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She has the voice of an angel...
But one false note could send her back to her old life of poverty.
After her father sells her to Henry VIII, ten-year-old Bess builds a new life as a royal minstrel, and earns the nickname "the king's songbird."
She comes of age in the dangerous Tudor court, where the stakes are always high, and where politics, heartbreak, and disease threaten everyone from the king to the lowliest musician.
Her world has only one constant: Tom, her first and dearest friend. But when Bess intrigues with Anne Boleyn and strains against the restrictions of life at court, will she discover that the biggest risk of all is listening to her own stubborn heart?
4 out of 5 (very good)
SONGBIRD is the first book in the Tudor Court series, and we are introduced to the world of King Henry VIII, and his love of music. Bess is sold to the King just before her tenth birthday and, with hard study and lots of practice, becomes a favourite of his. We stay with her as she grows from a young child, to a young woman, with friends and lovers along the way.
Reading about Henry, Katherine, Mary, the Boleyn sisters, from a servant's perspective made it all the more fascinating. Her life at court is comfortable, but she is still a servant. There is romance for Bess, from Tom, who was with her from the start, to Nick, a courtier currently in favour with the King. Bess has her own choices to make, some of which end up being heart-breaking.
If I had one thing to say, it would be I was disappointed we skipped so much of Henry's reign, but then, if we'd had it all, it would have been enough for more books! A fascinating story, with realism and character development a-plenty. This was a book I thoroughly enjoyed and have no hesitation in recommending, and I am so happy to see there is a second book in this series!
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
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Karen Heenan was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. She fell in love with books and stories before she could read, and has wanted to write for nearly as long. After far too many years in a cubicle, she set herself free to follow her dreams—which include gardening, sewing, traveling and, of course, lots of writing. She lives in Lansdowne, PA, not far from Philadelphia, with two cats and a very patient husband, and is always hard at work on her next book.
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