Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: In a Treacherous Court by Michelle Diener

Title: In a Treacherous Court
Author: Michelle Diener
Series: Susanna Horenbout and John Parker #1
Publication: August 2nd 2011 by Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback, 301 pages
Cover Rating: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
Purchase: The Book Depository ~ Amazon ~ Fishpond ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo
An unconventional woman. A deadly enemy. A clash of intrigue, deception, and desire. . .

1525: Artist Susanna Horenbout is sent from Belgium to be Henry VIII’s personal illuminator inside the royal palace. But her new homeland greets her with an attempt on her life, and the King’s most lethal courtier, John Parker, is charged with keeping her safe. As further attacks are made, Susanna and Parker realize that she unknowingly carries the key to a bloody plot against the throne. For while Richard de la Pole amasses troops in France for a Yorkist invasion, a traitor prepares to trample the kingdom from within.Who is the mastermind? Why are men vying to kill the woman Parker protects with his life? With a motley gang of urchins, Susanna’s wits, and Parker’s fierce instincts, honed on the streets and in palace chambers, the two slash through deadly layers of deceit in a race against time. For in the court of Henry VIII, secrets are the last to die. . .

Brilliantly revealing a little-known historical figure who lived among the Tudors, Michelle Diener makes a smashing historical fiction debut.

My thoughts:

I received this wonderful book for review. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Michelle Diener! :D

My love for historical novels has been reawakened for sure now! I love anything hystorical, from ancient Egypt to 19th century London. Well, this book was about the time of Henry VIII in 1525. I've always loved anything that has to do with the Tudors and this book has left me even more interested in it. This book was extra special to me because ths book is about artist Susanna Horenbout, a Flemish painter from Ghent! I live in Belgium (not too far from Ghent actually... :D) so yeah of course I simply loved that!

Susanna was send by her father to become Henry VIII's new painter. When she arrived, it wasn't long before there was an attempt on her life. John Parker, one of the King's most dangerous courtiers, was then charged to keep her safe. More attacks follow and slowly a conspiracy against the throne is revealed. The more Susanna and Parker find out about the secret plot, the more deathly it becomes. 

I loved IaTC right from the start. Susanna was a great heroine. Strong, witty, talented and beautiful. I loved her voice and the way she handled herself against all the attacks she had to endure. I'm pretty sure most people would crack under the pressure but she always held herself standing straight. Naturally, Susanna being Flemish helped me like her a lot too.
Parker... Oh I just loved him. Michelle Diener really has a knack for creating not only amazing female characters but also swoon-worthy, protective, fighting, delicious men. I loved how they *minor spoiler* used to call him "Parker the Cold, Parker the Merciless and Parker the Lone Wolf" before he met Susanna. I'm not sure if they really called him that but I love it. 

This book was so exciting! It really, truly was. Lots of attacks and fighting, I loved that! The mystery and suspense were killing me, especially at the last part. I was so afraid everything wouldn't turn out right but of course it did.
And the writing! That must be my favorite thing about IaTC. Michelle Diener truly is my new favorite writer. It was so fast paced and amazing that when I had only 100 pages left, I forced myself to stop reading because I didn't want it to be over so soon. I absolutely got sucked in. When I did finished, I felt really sad. I need more, way much more! Luckily for me there's an ebook and another novel after this so once I get my hands on them, I'll be good. 

The romance between Susanna and Parker was perfect. They were attracted to each other pretty much right away but this isn't a bad thing. In this novel it worked perfectly. They knew from one another that they wanted each other, also a thing I loved. No confusion or anything about their feelings for each other except that Susanna thinks she wouldn't make a very good wife, but we'll see. I think Parker can handle her artistic ways perfectly. 

In a Treacherous Court by Michelle Diener is an exceptional debut. The historical information as well as the romance and suspense was interesting, beautifully written, fast paced and just astonishing. This novel will grip the reader so fast, never letting go, until the very end.

~ About the author:
Michelle DienerMichelle Diener was born in London and raised in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. She now lives on the west coast of Australia with her husband and two young children.

Find her also on: Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads


  1. Looks like a great book and good review style :) New blog follower, please follow back:

    1. Thanks! I'll follow you back. :]

  2. Awesome review Steph! I've got to meet Parker sometime soon.

  3. I LOVE historical fiction. Specially ones about the Tudor Court, it's always so exciting and unique.
    I love the cover of this book and the blurb, I will definitely check it out!
    GREAT review, Stephanie
    Your constant reader,

    1. Oh then you should definitely read this series! It's awesome.
      Thanks for the lovely comment! :D

  4. Susanna sounds like a great book. I love this time period and this seems like a book I could really get into. Thanks so much for your review. I will have to check it out!

    1. I meant to start my comment with: Susanna sounds like a great character. :)


Share your thoughts! ♥