There comes a point in some authors careers where they have become so well known for one thing that they simply cannot, or dare not, do anything different. This is the reason J.K. Rowling now publishes under a pseudonym; her name has become synonymous with Harry Potter and it just can’t be helped. Some authors are well known for certain genres that they now can’t break away from, some a series, some a stand alone masterpiece like Harper Lee. As a reader this is depressing because some authors don’t handle it as well as Rowling; some pander to the money and continue to pump out similar stories year after year after year.
I bring this up because I recently read Philippa Gregorys newest novel Three Sisters, Three Queens. Gregory is my only auto buy author and I have read the vast majority of her works, most of which I have thoroughly enjoyed. My love for her began because she wrote fiction about the Tudor period which I had just discovered and enjoyed learning about. From The Boleyn Inheritance and The Other Boleyn Girl I branched out to her other fiction and fell in love with the Wideacre trilogy. I love history, I love historical fiction and she brought me a time period I truly enjoyed. Now its just getting stale; with each novel you can almost feel the pressure on her to continue pumping out work on the same damned topic year after year. Three Sisters, Three Queens left me with the same slight disappointment and bored feeling as all of Gregorys most recent works; namely The Kings Curse and The Taming of the Queen. Her Tudor Court Series has been rung dry and now, even though she is writing stories about interesting woman and events, it seems even she doesn’t give a shit. Her recent novels all take on the same format; introduce important female character and how Henry Tudor is going to fuck up her life; jump to each point in her life that is vaguely important or features Henry VIII; try to weave some overarching theme throughout someone’s entire life then end the book when they die, unless Henry dies first then end it there. Wouldn’t want to give the impression that the book isn’t about Henry. When I read The Kings Curse I genuinely hated it but ended up giving it a good review because the ending was great. I almost did the same thing for Three Sisters, Three Queens because towards the end the book picks up and I stopped hating the main character so much but that is not good enough for a 4 star rating even from my auto buy author. The Taming of the Queen pissed me off to the point of utter hatred because Katherine Parr, an interesting woman who was married 4 times, who later fostered Princess Elizabeth and may have been aware of an affair between the princess and her own husband, was reduced down to just her marriage to Henry. It really isn’t that interesting a marriage and the highlights of the book are a few disgusting sex scenes and Katherine learning not to have an opinion.
My bitching means little though because I will begrudgingly buy and read everything with this womans name on it until one of us fucking dies. You can’t just stop reading someone you’ve loved for over a decade, but here’s hoping for more like Wideacre, more like The Wise Woman, hell even The Cousins War series was pretty good at before thee were 6 of them just please, I don’t want to see another fucking book about Henry VIII.