(Originally published on my blog Your Rainy Day Reading List on 7/12/2013)
I received (with immature, unadulterated, dance-around-my-living-room delight) an advanced copy from Netgalley for review. The mere mention of King Henry VIII sends historians and lovers of Tudor fiction into wild meanderings on the twisted and tangled life that was the monarch’s. Wife after wife, child after child, this man redefined not only what it meant to be regent and religious leader in Britain, but also the place of the Tudor family in the history books. His daughter, Elizabeth I, reigned over England and Ireland for decades. She created a golden era, full of dramas and adventurers. She never married, claiming virginity until her death. Her paintings are all mysteriously and specifically done, surrounded by rules of what could be painted. Steve Berry’s latest in the Cotton Malone series takes us back not only into British history, but also into the Malone’s family history. It is a tale of two years past, of how their family changed yet again. Lies and secrets marred the three Malones, and it took truth and honesty to heal. Funnily enough, lies and secrets altered the lives of the Tudor family as well. What if she remained The Virgin Queen, unmarried, for a reason? What if she was part of what would be the greatest fraud in British history? What if all those rules about painting the Queen were necessary to veil an imposter? What if this secret could reignite a war that would change Elizabeth’s legacy from beloved queen to thief of her sister’s title of “Bloody?” Take a ride down memory lane with Cotton Malone in his latest (well, perhaps not chronologically) adventure as a simple favor for a friend turns into a quest for truth and a battle for the lives of all involved. Just be prepared, as the secrets of the past are not the only dangerous mysteries mixed up in The King’s Deception.
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