Brazen by Katherine Longshore

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Simon and Schuster, 2014. ISBN 9781471116988
(Age: 13+) Recommended. Marriage. Fidelity. Temptation. Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. She has always followed the rules, but then she is married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII's illegitimate son. She is propelled into the Tudor court's inner circle along with all their games, dares and temptations. The more Mary gets to know Henry, the harder she falls for him, however the king has forbidden Henry and Mary from consummating their marriage, and from seeing each other alone. Rules are meant to be broken, but just how far are Mary and Henry willing to go? Mary Howard Fitzroy is the main character throughout this novel; she is the child of an unhappy marriage and simply wishes for love and to be loved. But when she is married to the King's illegitimate son, she is only fourteen years old and shy as well as unsure about marriage.
Brazen is the third novel in this series but is the companion book to Gilt and Tarnish. The main themes that I found throughout this novel were love, and definitely history. I also found that you don't have to read the other two books before reading this as it has its own story line, but still follows the other characters in the Gilt and Tarnish novels. I loved that Katherine Longshore has given the readers an insight to what the Tudor courts may have looked like, especially the emphasis on how everyone in the court, particularly the women, served as pawns for the King and his every desire. Longshore writes in first person, and it feels like you are Mary throughout the story which I found to be fantastic as you could create a connection with many of the characters. I would recommend this novel for teenagers thirteen years and older, or to anyone interested in the history genre.
Emily Madden