Posted By Claire on June 5, 2013
We all love to “what if” when it comes to Anne Boleyn, don’t we? – What if she hadn’t miscarried? What if that baby had been a living son? What if she hadn’t been executed? – but I’ve never been keen on the idea of alternative history novels, particularly after reading an awful one. However, the temptation was too much after reading the blurb and I’m so glad I gave in.
The Boleyn King opens with a prelude in which Queen Anne Boleyn gives birth to a healthy son on 28th June 1536 and then Chapter 1 fastforwards to 28th June 1553, where we are introduced to Minuette, full name Genevieve Antoinette Wyatt, the main character of the story. Minuette is a childhood friend of King Henry IX (known to his friends and family as William), his sister Elizabeth, and Dominic Courtenay, and is a ward of Anne Boleyn, the Queen Dowager, and lady-in-waiting to Princess Elizabeth. Most of the story is told through Minuette’s eyes, but we also see events through those of Dominic and William. The novel is set in William’s reign, as he prepares to take over from George Boleyn, Lord Rochford, who has acted as Lord Protector during William’s minority, and is a wonderful mix of intrigue and romance. Both Dominic and William have feelings for Minuette, although William is taking full advantage of being King and having a mistress, but the main theme is the four friends’ struggle to uncover a Catholic plot against the King. They must discover the whereabouts of “The Penitent’s Confession”, a document that is said to be evidence of William’s illegitimacy, before the Catholics produce it and challenge William’s status as King. Danger seems to be around every corner.
It is a thrilling read and I love the interaction between the four friends. I also loved meeting the older Anne Boleyn! I can’t wait for the second book in the trilogy, The Boleyn Deceit, which is due out in November of this year.
Blurb from Amazon
Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory, Alison Weir, and Showtime’s The Tudors, The Boleyn King is the first book in an enthralling trilogy that dares to imagine: What if Anne Boleyn had actually given Henry VIII a son who grew up to be king?
Just seventeen years old, Henry IX, known as William, is a king bound by the restraints of the regency yet anxious to prove himself. With the French threatening battle and the Catholics sowing the seeds of rebellion at home, William trusts only three people: his older sister Elizabeth; his best friend and loyal counselor, Dominic; and Minuette, a young orphan raised as a royal ward by William’s mother, Anne Boleyn.
Against a tide of secrets, betrayal, and murder, William finds himself fighting for the very soul of his kingdom. Then, when he and Dominic both fall in love with Minuette, romantic obsession looms over a new generation of Tudors. One among them will pay the price for a king’s desire, as a shocking twist of fate changes England’s fortunes forever.
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (May 14, 2013)
Available as an ebook and paperback from Amazon.com, Amazon UK or your usual bookstore.