London, 1675: Born to wealth and privilege, Katherine is introduced to the decadent court of King Charles II, and quickly becomes a favorite from the palace to the bawdy playhouses. Read more...
London, 1675: Born to wealth and privilege, Katherine is introduced to the decadent court of King Charles II, and quickly becomes a favorite from the palace to the bawdy playhouses. She gleefully snubs respectable marriage to become the Duke of York's mistress.
But Katherine's life of carefree pleasure ends when Charles II dies, and her lover becomes King James II. Suddenly she is cast into a tangle of political intrigue, religious dissent, and ever-shifting alliances, where a wrong step can mean treason, exile, or death at the executioner's block. As the risks rise, Katherine is forced to make the most perilous of choices: to remain loyal to the king, or to England.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-07-19
- Reviewer: Staff
In this vivid portrait of Katherine Sedley, mistress of King James II, Scott (The French Mistress) unravels the intricate web of court intrigues that has long fascinated historical romance enthusiasts. Supposedly plain yet intelligent and seductively charming, Katherine grows up amid wealth, indulged by Sir Charles Sedley, her libertine father. Attracted to James, the married duke of York, Katherine embarks on an illicit relationship that continues after Charles dies and James becomes king, though he eventually feels compelled to end their scandalous relationship, which has produced a son who died in infancy and a daughter. Katherine is a strong protagonist--well-realized and confident in her flouting of convention--and provides a stellar centerpiece to Scott's fast-moving tale about the challenging world of kings, queens, and mistresses caught in a time of sharp political, and religious upheaval. (Sept.)