The King’s Rose by Alisa M. Libby

roseTitle: The King’s Rose

Author: Alisa M. Libby

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Publication Date: March 2009

Pages: 297

Genre: Young Adult Historical

Book Summary (from

Life in the court of King Henry VIII is a complex game. When fifteen-year-old Catherine Howard catches the king?s eye, she quickly transforms from pawn to queen. But even luxury beyond imagination loses its luster as young Catherine finds her life?and her heart?threatened by the needs of an aging king and a family hungry for power. Will their agendas deliver Catherine to the same fate as her infamous cousin, Anne Boleyn?sacrificed at the altar of family ambition? Engaging historical fiction with a throbbing YA heartbeat, this thrilling novel will draw readers into the intrigues and dangers of the Tudor court.


The King’s Rose is a novel based on Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard. I always enjoy fiction set in the Tudor court, and Catherine Howard does not usually get much time of her own in fiction. Most of the time she’s almost written off as being too young and too foolish and sort of getting what she deserved, considering her conduct and his past.

This book, however, is a pleasant change. I’m not saying she didn’t do stupid things. She was young and left to her own devices far too often. She didn’t have any clue how she was supposed to be queen, and no one seemed particularly inclined to tell her. In this version of her story, you get a little better understanding of her. The story is told from her perspective, and while she is still superficial and I wished sometimes that she could have some deeper thoughts, her character isn’t built that way.

It follows the history pretty well, and you do feel sorry for Catherine when he inevitable fate comes around. You get the impression that even though she knew what she was doing, and sort of understood what was going on around her, she didn’t truly understand until it was far too late to save herself.

If you enjoy Tudor/Henry VIII fiction, this is a great, quick read.


Where to Find the Book



Barnes and Noble:

Book was purchased by reviewer.


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