The King’s Daughter
While Thomas Wyatt leads a rebellion against Queen Mary Tudor for marrying the Spanish Philip, spunky Isabel Thornleigh and her fiancé, Martin, work to become involved in the scheme. Events go awry when Isabel’s mother’s past as an accused heretic comes to light and a vengeful neighbor rashly shoots her, causing Isabel’s father to kill the attacker. Isabel, left alone as Martin works with Wyatt, desperately begins seeking her father in jails throughout London with the help of escaped convict Carlos Valverde, whose own ties to the man behind her mother’s shooting remain unknown. As time goes quickly forward, Isabel discovers more shocking news about her family and must make hard decisions about where her loyalties lie.
The King’s Daughter is a reprint of Kyle’s 1995 novel A Dangerous Devotion, though it has been reworked for today’s market. Although the events take place over a short time, the story seemed to plod for a large portion of the book as Isabel continuously seeks her father, often just missing him. Isabel’s involvement in the rebellion and her insistence on putting herself in danger felt forced and unbelievable. I wanted to like the relationship between Carlos and Isabel, but it lacked chemistry, and their choices left me feeling bewildered. Most annoyingly, there were several historical inaccuracies that pulled me out of the story: for example, the Duke of Suffolk, Lady Jane Grey’s father, attempts to lead the rebellion against Queen Mary with his sons, when it is known that he had none living, as evidenced by the fact that he tried to put Lady Jane on the throne. While the action scenes are reasonably well written, overall this is a novel that I can’t recommend to those who are looking for either romance or believable plotting.