This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Jennifer Joyce
Elizabeth of Lancaster is seventeen when she marries the eight-year-old Earl of Pembroke as part of a political alliance organised by her father. Elizabeth is maturing into a passionate young woman while her new husband, John Hastings is just a child who is interested in little more than fooling around with the other young members of the household and his animals. So when Elizabeth meets the king’s half-brother, John Holland at court, she quickly falls for his charms. John Holland is a grown man who has fought heroically in battles and is well known as a seducer of women. Although Elizabeth knows of John Holland’s reputation, she can’t help falling in love with him, even if that means betraying her family.
I immediately felt for Elizabeth as she is forced to marry the young John – or Jonty, as he is known in the book – and I could feel her frustration and humiliation at the pairing. Elizabeth is hoping for a passionate match, but instead she is bound to a young boy who she will be married to only in name for quite some years. So I wasn’t surprised when she started to fall for John Holland; he is strong, intelligent, brave and, most importantly, an adult. I did think their relationship with John was quite drawn out and although I appreciate that the author is following actual historical events, I felt that the pace was far too slow for me. While there is a lot going on – marriages and death, political alliances and plots – it seemed rather sluggish and longwinded at times.That being said, I did like Elizabeth and thought that she was a determined young woman who knew her own mind, even if she was constricted by the rules of the time. I also thought that there were a lot of powerful emotions within the book, from the passion between Elizabeth and John and the sometimes heart-breaking consequences of life at court. Tension built due to the twists and turns of plots and scheming, which kept my interest as I wondered what the outcome would be for Elizabeth, John and the others involved.
The King’s Sister is about love and passion as well as betrayal and, pacing issues aside, I enjoyed the book.