Sunday, June 10, 2012

Book Review: The Secret Keeper by Sandra Byrd

The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr
(Tudor-set, #2)
by Sandra Byrd
Adult Historical Christian Fiction 
Received for Review
Release Date: June 5,2012
Average Goodreads Rating:4.39
Pages: 352

Before I get into my review, here's the summary available on Goodreads:

The author of To Die For returns to the court of Henry VIII, as a young woman is caught between love and honor. 

Juliana St. John is the daughter of a prosperous knight in Marlborough. Though her family wants her to marry the son of her father’s business partner, circumstances set her on a course toward the court of Henry VIII and his last wife, Kateryn Parr.

Sir Thomas Seymour, uncle of the current heir, Prince Edward, returns to Wiltshire to tie up his business with Juliana’s father’s estate and sees instantly that she would fit into the household of the woman he loves, Kateryn Parr. Her mother agrees to have her placed in the Parr household for “finishing” and Juliana goes, though perhaps reluctantly. For she knows a secret. She has been given the gift of prophecy, and in one of her visions she has seen Sir Thomas shredding the dress of the king’s daughter, the lady Elizabeth, to perilous consequence.

As Juliana learns the secrets of King Henry VIII’s court, she faces threats and opposition, learning truths about her own life that will upset everything she thought she once held dear.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 rating.

Disclaimers: I received this book for review from the publisher Howard Books in exchange for my honest opinion. Thanks!

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I love this time period, but I haven't actually read a lot from this period outside of required English class. I went into this novel with high expectations. I was a little worried about how Byrd would tie in the paranormal-ish element of visions into her story.

I had no reason to be concerned. Byrd's writing was masterful, her characters masterfully crafted, and her novel absolutely brilliant. I adored this novel. Thirty pages in and I was hooked.

Byrd's novel had a depth to it that I appreciated. So often I read novels and I leave thoroughly entertained, but they don't have the depth to make me want to come back to them time and time again.

Byrd's novel left me entertained and thoroughly enraptured. I absolutely adored this novel. Juliana was a character that I found myself rooting for from the very beginning. She was down-to-earth and yet so spunky. I loved her. And then there was Jaime. Oh how I adored him from the second I was introduced to him. He definitely made my "top male characters" list. 

This was the first novel I read by Byrd; it won't be the last. I desperately want to go back and read the first in the series. I can't wait to see what Byrd comes up with next. Definitely recommend this series, especially to all you history buffs out there. 

In Summary: A beautifully written novel with masterfully crafted characters that I absolutely adored. This novel is a must-read. Go get it now!

Warnings/Side-notes: A rape scene (not too graphic but it's there). References to sex. But really this novel was very clean. 

The Wrap-up: Very rarely do I get to read a novel about the time period of Henry VIII, because usually they are quite filthy. This one was very clean and had a Christian element to it. Naturally I was ecstatic to read it. The Christian elements were never overbearing or seemed forced, which is another huge plus. Trust me read this one! 


Danica Page

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