Review 75. Michelle Diener – In a treacherous court.

In a Treacherous Court (Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, #1)Title: In a treacherous court.
Author: Michelle Diener.
Pages: 301.
Published: August 2nd 2011.
Publisher: Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster
Sort: Part one of ‘Susanna Horenbout and John Parker.’
Source: The author was so kind to provide me with a copy for a honest review.
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…
Rating: 4 out of 5.

What a wonderful story! The Tudors period is fascinating and I never get tired of reading about it. There is something intriguing about the court and tension.

The world-building is great. It felt like I was walking around next to Parker and Susanna. I could imagine the tension at court. Everybody is smiling, but they will stab you in the back if they get the chance to get more status, land and money. There is nobody you can really trust. Imagine how it must feel to be King. Luckily for Henry, he has Parker. I would definitely trust my life around Parker. He is good in fighting and he will do anything to keep the persons he love safe.

Parker really grew unto me. From the moment I met him, I knew I was going to love him. He is a bit distant and dark, but he opens up around Susanna. He is merciless when they harm “his lady” and he is incredibly protective. He sounded very attractive and charming.
Susanna was a great character as well. She is sweet, but definitely not someone who goes down without a fight. She isn’t afraid to tell what’s on her mind and she was able to make intelligent choices. I found her refreshing; you could see she never grew up at court.

It was great to unravel the conspiracy together with them. Every piece of information leads us closer to the enemy and I was surprised by the ending. The enemy is clever and was well-written, like the other characters. They play their part and they complete the story. You could see that Diener has done her research. The story felt realistic and it was nice to see her explanation at the end. About the real history and the things she made up; but it still feels like it could have happened.

I’m looking forward to continue the story with Parker and Susanna, because in the next book ‘Keeper of the King’s secret’ they are up to a lot of trouble. If you like history, Philippa Gregory, The Tudors and mystery with some romance, this book is something for you!


  1. Looks great:) Thanks for you reviewa and the book tip. Never heard about this book before:)

  2. Wow -- I love historical fiction and love this period so I will definitely put this on my list.

    Mailed your book today. Hope you love it :)

  3. Amazing review! I love it when books are written so well that i feel like im with the characters! This seems really interesting!
    - Farah @MajiBookshelf

  4. I can't say I'm much of a historical fiction reader, but I do find the Tudor period really interesting. I'm glad you enjoyed this, Mel! I'll be sure to check it out. Great review hun! :)

  5. Hmmm, I wonder if I've seen this book before. It sounds familiar but I'm pretty sure I've never read it. I do like historical fiction although I haven't read many books with that genre so this one is intriguing! I'll definitely check it out ;)

    Awesome review, Mel! ♥ So glad you enjoyed it!

  6. I haven't heard of this before, but it sounds really good! I also really enjoy historical fiction, so I'll definitely be adding it to my TBR list :) Great review!

  7. It sounds interesting - I may have to look into it further!

    Mel, I tried to send you a message on Goodreads, but it says you're not accepting them. You were one of two reviewers who linked reviews for September in the 2012 Tudor Reading Challenge so I'm sending you both a copy of The Boleyn Inheritance. I just need to know your info so I can get it in the mail to you. Email me at amberr610[at]gmail[dot]com. Thanks and congrats!


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