Of Aragon

Fiction - Historical - Personage
308 Pages
Reviewed on 06/06/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Kat grew up in a simple household with her parents and her twin brother, Will. It’s the early sixteenth century and Kat is fascinated by the allure of the royal court, particularly King Henry VIII’s first wife, Queen Katherine of Aragon. In Caroline Willcocks’ Of Aragon, the child grows up quickly when a disease affects the family and takes away the only parents Kat ever knew. Will finds his way in the royal world, while Kat stumbles into a life in the royal court of the queen she so admired. That is until Katherine was cast aside in favor of Anne Boleyn. Even amongst the royal women, there is intense politics and it’s a matter of life or death to maneuver through the pitfalls that the royal court presents. As Kat matures, she learns more about who she is; a letter from a royal midwife lays it all out. But there’s no way to prove beyond a doubt her newly discovered heritage. And to what purpose? Kat has found her place in the world and a love that will only strengthen with time.

Caroline Willcocks’ historical fiction novel, Of Aragon, takes an intense and fascinating look at the complicated and sometimes dangerous life inside the royal courts of King Henry VIII’s women. Told in the first person narrative, from Kat’s point of view, the story unfolds as a letter dictated to Kat’s daughter. The author provides distinct and thoroughly researched historical details, while, at the same time, presenting an engaging plot that will have readers entranced to the very end. The characters are well developed, while the narrative smoothly invites the reader into the royal circles and life in the early sixteenth century. Like Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl, Of Aragon will not disappoint the avid historical fiction reader.