Who is Kat that her adopted mother Grace keeps her secluded in a small village and her red hair hidden. Kat knows only her sewing and her sister Anne. After Grace's death. Kat journey's to court to discover her true identity. She looks like Queen Elizabeth I. How are they connected? Kat's search for the truth may do more harm than good. Court is a dangerous place for a naive country girl who looks like the queen.
What I thought: A riveting story. I do love a good mystery especially when it's based on true events. I loved the two story lines that intertwined slowly to reveal who Kat really was. This book was rich with historical characters and details. I've always enjoyed reading about this period. The author's note best describes Crowley's reason for writing the book: "The real Mary Seymour disappeared from history on the eve of her second birthday. It is interesting to ask, if she died as a child, as most historians believe, why wasn't the death of a queen's child noted somewhere? Perhaps it was, but is lost to us in history, or perhaps, perhaps..." (406).
A quick history lesson (and a few spoilers):
Henry VIII of England had six wives.
1. Katherine of Aragon (mother of Bloody Mary)
2. Anne Boleyn (mother of Elizabeth I)
3. Jane Seymour (mother of Edward VI)
4. Anne of Cleves
5. Katherine Howard
6. Katherine Parr (later married Thomas Seymour. They had a daughter, Mary Seymour. Thomas Seymour dallied with both Elizabeth I and a maid. Kat is the daughter of Elizabeth I's stepmother and Anne is the daughter of Thomas Seymour and the maid.)