18 June 2012
The Irish Princess
Karen Harper's The Irish Princess introduced me to Elizabeth Fitzgerald, the uncrowned Irish Princess of Tudor times and rule. The Fitzgeralds and Henry VIII don't exactly get along, and that leads to quite a few visits to the Tower of London for the Fitzgerald men. Elizabeth, or Gera, is also forced to relocate to London so Henry VIII and his men can keep an eye on her and her family.
I enjoyed The Irish Princess; it was nice to be introduced to a new character and storyline. I feel like Harper really captured that Irish "feel" that Gera needed, though I'm no expert in that area. Gera was a fun character to read about; she's stubborn, outspoken, and reminded me of what I've read of Elizabeth I, which makes sense because they were close friends. It was also weird that Henry VIII was the bad guy, I usually like him, or feel sorry for him at any rate!
Most of the story was true to history, Harper obviously took some liberties, but Gera was a real person and her relationships were also true. It was an enjoyable read, but at times I found myself wishing that Philippa Gregory had written it, because it got a little dry and felt a little long. I also wish Harper had included a family tree in the front of the book, like Gregory always does. Overall, though, it was a pretty good book and I recommend it to my fellow historical fiction lovers!