by Katherine Longshore
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Publication Date: June 12th 2014
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult | Historical Fiction
(From publisher for honest review)
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Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for? (Goodreads)
The story in Brazen revolves around Mary Howard, who was a lady’s maid to Anne Boleyn during her marriage to Henry VIII, and who was also married off to Henry’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy. I knew absolutely nothing about Mary when I started reading this novel, and to be honest, I was a bit worried at first that she was just going to be a weak young lady that let everyone run over her. But she proves over and over again through the novel that that was not the case. She was strong and determined and had the heart of a fighter. I love the relationship between her and Fitz, and wanted so much more for them, because they were wonderful when they were together. I also loved the friendship between Mary and Madge, and even the one that she formed with Margaret. Even when I things were at their worst, they never really gave up on each other. Mary’s story is a bittersweet one, one that doesn’t have the best of endings, but that will make you love her even more.
I really loved the historical storyline in this book. I haven’t read too many novels at this point regarding royal history, but I definitely find it fascinating, especially the people in history. I kept putting the book aside so that I could search for information on each character because I wanted to know so much more about them. And it wasn’t only the people in history that I had to stop and look up, but events as well. It was such a fascinating time period, although not one that I could ever imagine living in. I also love that most the events in the novel that happened between Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII are events that happened in real life. And even though I knew how some of these events ended, they still managed to shock me throughout the novel. With such interesting characters and a fascinating storyline, this book made for a really great read.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and now I’m dying to read more by this author! If you’re looking for a really interesting historical fiction book to read, I highly suggest that you consider adding Brazen and its predecessors to your reading list.