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Brazen

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Overview

Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain ...

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Brazen

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Overview

Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Courtney M. Krieger
Mary Howard is a fourteen-year-old Duchess caught up in the tangled web of lies and deception of the Tudor court. After marrying King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, Henry FitzRoy, she discovers her role as a pawn in a fierce struggle for power. With each insincere pledge of loyalty to the king and his queen, Anne Boleyn, the carefully woven fabric of sovereignty unravels to reveal political unrest and conspiracies to overthrow the monarchy. Forbidden to develop a relationship with her husband, she feels drawn to him and the secrets that he might be keeping. Brazen, historical fiction spanning the years 1533 to 1536, breathes life into historical figures and events by effectively depicting the frivolous nature of the aristocracy, as well as the danger and uncertainty of living under a volatile king who believes himself equal with God. From Mary’s perspective, the author weaves together facts and legends to provide depth to such prominent historical characters as Anne Boleyn, Queen Mary, and Henry FitzRoy. Readers who enjoy fast-moving plots full of suspense and intrigue will be disappointed because it moves painfully slowly. The buildup for the conspiracy alone takes half of the novel and leaves the reader bored and disengaged. Even readers who enjoy romances might struggle to finish this novel due to its repetitive, uneventful scenes. Educators and librarians should exercise their own judgment when deciding whether to add this novel to their shelves. Reviewer: Courtney M. Krieger; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
07/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Married at age 14 to the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, Mary Howard feels alone and confused at court. Her isolation is compounded by the king's command that she shall not share quarters with her new husband. Befriended by two other maids-in-waiting, Madge Shelton and Margaret Douglas, Mary makes her way through the tenuous waters of the Tudor court and explores the complexities of love, power, and duty. Longshore combines two remarkably unstable things in this dense novel: modern teenage sensibilities and King Henry VIII. Despite these tantalizing topics, repetitive text and a number of subplots make this a convoluted read. A brief author's note details the true history of Mary Howard and her companions at court. Fans of the author's other offerings about the Tudors—Gilt (2012) and Tarnish (2013, both Viking)—and the TV show Reign will enjoy this steamy historical romance, perfect for teens not yet ready for Philippa Gregory's novels.—Sara Saxton, Wasilla Public Library, Wasilla, AK
Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-30
In a companion to Gilt (2012) and Tarnish (2013), Longshore chooses as her heroine a member of Henry VIII's household less well-known than Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn, the respective subjects of her earlier novels.Mary Howard FitzRoy's story provides a fresh perspective for a retelling of the cruel and tragic drama of the Tudor court. The child bride of Henry VIII's illegitimate son, Henry FitzRoy, young Mary has the misfortune to fall in love with her 14-year-old husband. Although marriage to the royal heir makes her a duchess and thus higher in rank than her haughty mother, her life as a royal wife is mostly frightening and lonely. The young spouses are forbidden to consummate their marriage for fear of injury to the male heir. Fitz is often away on court business, while Mary is alienated from her female companions and left to wait on the doomed Anne Boleyn. Mary's unsatisfying romance with her young husband plays out against a backdrop of court intrigue, power struggles, and the sequential rises and demises of Henry's wives. The couple plot to run away together, but they are held by the invisible ties of the powerful men who determine their destiny and those of the people around them.In this third novel in her trilogy, Longshore skillfully blends history with romance, weaving a compelling, poignant story of love, loss and betrayal. (family tree, author's note) (Historical fiction. 13-17)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670014019
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile
  • Publication date: 6/12/2014
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 166,231
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Katherine Longshore is also the author of Gilt and Tarnish. She lives in Northern California with three British citizens and one expatriate dog.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 13, 2014

    I've read and absolutely loved Katherine Longshore's other two b

    I've read and absolutely loved Katherine Longshore's other two books based on the Tudors, GILT and TARNISH, and I was intrigued by BRAZEN's tagline: "There's only one man Mary Howard wants - the one she's forbidden from having ... her husband". Once I started reading, I flew through 528 pages in less than three days.

    BRAZEN is the story of Anne Boleyn's cousin, Mary Howard, who married King Henry VIII's illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy by arrangement at the age of 14. I started the story knowing nothing about Mary and enough about Henry Fitzroy to appreciate the journey even though I knew the destination, which made the story all the more bittersweet. BRAZEN is a richly layered love story about two teenagers who were bound together by the politics of King Henry VIII's court and risked death if the rules were broken. And can I say it now? Henry VIII had all the makings of a psychopath! If I had said that 500 years ago, my head would have landed in a basket.

    I have tremendous respect for writers of historical fiction, because I think they have a responsibility to those who are no longer here to tell their story. Katherine Longshore has a phenomenal voice for historical fiction, her attention to detail is just right, and she has a talent for tapping into the very soul of her characters and their story.

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    Posted December 8, 2014

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