Arriving at the court of King Henry VIII in the spring of 1518, within days of one another, in fact, Michael Devereaux and Princess Renee of France have seemingly little in common. One is a newcomer, a first-time courtier, representing his benefactor, the Earl of Tyrone. His intention is to secure an appointment, through knightly prowess, in the Order of the Garter. The other, having grown up in the French court, is well acquainted with court intrigue and custom. She joins the English court with a secret mission assigned to her by Cardinal Medici. Events and an undeniable chemistry draw them together as they strive to attain their perhaps not altogether separate goals.
This seems to be a traditional historical, at first. Michael and Renee interact with all the usual suspects in the Tudor court, as they navigate various political and social currents. Along the way, they land in the middle of the tug of war between the King, Cardinal Wolsey and the Duke of Buckingham. Hints that there is more to the story than meets the eye begin to surface in the narrative about a quarter of the way through. Only after a heinous murder occurs, however, is it clear what that difference might be.
I enjoyed Royal Blood immensely. I found it fun to read, with lively dialogue and generous detail. The relationship between the main characters, while improbable, evolved realistically.