Extremely well written, prose-like, The King's Mistress is the story of Alice Perrers. Taking place in 14th century England, the young Alice is married off at the tender age of fourteen to the dashing Janyn, a descendant of Lombard merchants, who carries with him a royal intrigue laced in scandal involving Isabella of France and her late lover, Mortimer...The secret trickles down to the royal family's ultimate secret and Alice, unaware of it all pays the price of living a life pupettered by others.
As the title suggests, Alice obviously becomes King Edward III's (son of Isabella of France and the late King Edward II) mistresss; but this only happens after the death of her husband Janyn. (It's to be noted that Alice is completely loyal in her relationships). Alice and the King fall madly in love and she is subserviant and loving to the very end. Without going through the whole summary of the book (which is hefty and detailed to the max), in every story there is a villain and in this case it's William of Windsor who is guilty of destroying Alice's life. He announces himself as her betrothed and plants the seed of mistrust that sows evil and gossip throughout the realm; Alice is hated and blamed for all that goes wrong (even the king at times is doubtful). Needless to say, Alice endures it all. Fortunately for her, the King is completely enamoured of her and also acknowledges the children she bears him.
I rather enjoyed this story that spoke a different tale of Alice (the little I knew of her painted a sad picture of a ravenous and selfish woman who bewitched the king)- so I'm glad I got to see this side of her instead. I particularly enjoyed reading about Geoffrey Chaucer as being a good friend of hers. At the beginning of every chapter there are verses written by him and this makes the book particularly more characteristic of the time.
Beautifully written, the story reads like a memoir with almost to the minute details that, although I enjoyed the book, I must say that at times it felt very long. Other than that, a beautiful story all around.
I read this novel as part of the TLC Book Tours- Thanks Lisa! Check out all the other wonderful reviews HERE.