Review for The Boleyn Reckoning by Laura Andersen

the boylen reckoning

 

My Rating: 4.5/5

Author:Laura Andersen

Title:The Boleyn Reckoning

Genre: Historical Fiction

Background:

Amazon Description: Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, The Boleyn Reckoning heralds the triumphant conclusion of Laura Andersen’s enthralling trilogy about the Tudor king who never was: the son of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn—Henry IX—who, along with his sisters and those he holds most dear, approaches a dangerous crossroads. The Tudor royal family has barely survived a disastrous winter. Now English ships and soldiers prepare for the threat of invasion. But William Tudor—known as Henry IX—has his own personal battles to attend to. He still burns for Minuette, his longtime friend, but she has married William’s trusted advisor, Dominic, in secret—an act of betrayal that puts both their lives in danger. Princess Elizabeth, concerned over her brother’s erratic, vengeful behavior, imperils her own life by assembling a shadow court in an effort to protect England. With war on the horizon, Elizabeth must decide where her duty lies: with her brother or her country. Her choice could forever change the course of history.

Opinions:

My thoughts:

**If you have not read the first two books – The Boleyn King and Boleyn Deceit – you will stumble upon spoilers in this review**

 

Narration: Multiple third persons

 

Character Development: With this book continuing where the last left off, the characters are hitting their breaking/turning points. William has suffered from the smallpox and the international tensions of his potential marriage to France that fails. He no longer listens to reason and has his eyes set on marrying Minuette, hoping that an alliance with Spain through Elizabeth would help against the French. Some of his irrational decisions not only affect himself but England’s future. Dominic and Minuette know their secret marriage can be discovered at any minute. With each one still loyal to William, if and when he finds out would cause devastation in their marriage and potentially their lives. Minuette is constantly trying to keep her head as William elevates her status in preparation to be queen, while Dominic is one of the few people William still trusts. They both know this could change at any moment and with William’s changing disposition, anything can happen to them. Elizabeth is struggling to keep her calm and reason with William’s behavior and the changing demeanor from Minuette. She relies further upon Walsingham and John Dee. Can she help keep England together and her friends/brother?

 

Plot Development/Flow: The story keeps a good pace just like the last book. There is more stress as the characters are hitting a climax of their relationships. Tension is high as the secret marriage between Dominic and Minuette surface. William begins to turn into his father, slowly changing from the man they once knew into a monarch who would do as he pleases. France and Spain also causes political disruptions. Will King Philip choose Elizabeth of England of Elisabeth of France as his potential bride? The book also concludes the domestic plotting including Lord Rochford and Robin Dudley. It seems no character is safe in this book.

 

Standalone or Part of a Series: Last book in The BoleynTtrilogy

Review for The Boleyn Deceit by Laura Andersen

the boleyn deceit

My Rating: 4.5/5

Author:  Laura Andersen
Title: The Boleyn Deceit

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Background:

Amazon Description:
Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory, Alison Weir, and Showtime’s The Tudors, The Boleyn Deceit is the captivating new novel set in the imagined Tudor court of King Henry IX, son of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, who must navigate a terrain rife with palace intrigue, impending war, and unbridled passions.

The regency period is over and William Tudor, now King Henry IX, sits alone on the throne. But England must still contend with those who doubt his legitimacy, both in faraway lands and within his own family. To diffuse tensions and appease the Catholics, William is betrothed to a young princess from France, but still he has eyes for only his childhood friend Minuette, and court tongues are wagging.

Even more scandalous—and dangerous, if discovered—is that Minuette’s heart and soul belong to Dominic, William’s best friend and trusted advisor. Minuette must walk a delicate balance between her two suitors, unable to confide in anyone, not even her friend Elizabeth, William’s sister, who must contend with her own cleaved heart. In this irresistible tale, the secrets that everyone keeps are enough to change the course of an empire.
Opinions:

[I have read the advanced uncorrected proof.] The Boleyn Deceit is the second book in a trilogy. This book continues off where the first one ends. If you haven’t read the first one than prepare yourself for spoilers. I have seen a few other reviews where the person had not read the first one but did not feel lost. I think you could possibly read it without much trouble because there are some recaps of what happened. However, I think it would be in the reader’s best interest to start with the first book for more subtle clues. It would be more enjoyable.

Now for the review. Throughout the book Minuette and Dominic must keep their feelings for each other hidden. William also must try to not show his intentions towards Minuette, but there is talk in court (as always). With the French treaty (and betrothal to the Princess Elisabeth) newly intact, suspicions are not the best way for England to remain in peace. England now has a few problems besides the above political romances. Bad harvests and monetary troubles in the treasury from the prior war add to the stress of the kingdom. There is also the threats between Catholics and Protestants. Finally, there are personal threats towards the characters, and some may be in over their heads.

The four main characters (William, Elizabeth, Minuette, and Dominic) continue in this book as the narrators. William is feeling more comfortable with his authority, however, those who are aware of his feelings for Minuette all advise against him. With the Catholic alliance, it keeps the religious balance intact. The reader can see some of his father shining through. Minette, on the other hand, continues to investigate Alyce’s death from the prior book while keeping herself in balance between Dominic and William. There is something not right with her death, and she tries to solve who fathered her unborn child. With her investigations and royal interests, she is a prime target to some people. Elizabeth is still strong in mind and spirit. She has an interesting conversation with an astrologer who foretells her future as Queen. She also has the task of keeping William (and others) heads in check. She also has her own lover’s problems. Dominic is under strain not only from his romantic interests in Minuette but also the political side as the king’s shadow. William seems to push him to the limit in this book. He has problems with how loyal can be and to whom – William/England or Minuette/his heart.

I like the plot better in this book than the first. I think it moved along more smoothly. There are a few twists along the way and then ending was slightly surprising on a few accounts – which I won’t mention here. I would have liked the ending to have had a few more pages to it. It felt just a tiny bit rushed but not too bad since there will be a final book. There is a cliffhanger just like the first, so you have fair warning.

Overall I enjoyed this book. If you like historical fictions/tudors/what if novels, then you might enjoy this book. I would suggest reading the first book if you have not done so already.

 

 

Review for The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen

the boleyn king

My Rating: 4/5

Author:  Laura Andersen
Title:  The Boleyn King

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Background:

Amazon Description:
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.

Opinions:
The Boleyn King is a historical fiction that explores the “what if” Anne Boleyn had a son. In this story, Anne had Elizabeth and then her son, William, survived. With a son, Anne was saved from her tragic fate and continued to live as queen with Henry VIII. Within the story William and Elizabeth and their two friends Dominic and Minuette (daughter of Marie who was one of Anne’s ladies) must solve a mystery together. Someone or some group is out to try to expose William as a Boleyn son, not a Tudor. With a mystery to solve and political and love interests that get in the way, the book will remind you of the Showtime series The Tudors – without the sex scenes.

Characters:
The story is written in third person and follows the main characters. The main story tellers are Minuette and Dominic. Minuette and William were born on the same day and year. Minuette was raised with the royal family and is friends with both Elizabeth and William. She’s a spunky type of girl for her setting – not shying away from climbing on walls or doing some spying. Her mother died while she was a little girl – from childbirth fever – and she has always been a little curious about her. Being raised with the royal family puts her in an advantage at court. Now that she is older she is throwing the ideas of love and marriage together. While testing these waters out, she is also helping her friends solve a mystery that could jeopardize William’s reign. Dominic is a close confidant of the king. He is the oldest and well trained with a sword. He treats William as a friend (and with respect, of course), and William feels he is one of the only people he can trust. Dominic is a nice young man and realizes he is falling in love with his friend, Minuette. However, war with France and scandal at home makes pursuing a relationship difficult. Will he be able to tell Minuette how he feels? What if she is in love or betrothed to another? I liked Dominic, even though there were times when I wish he would have said something more in certain situations. William is almost at the age of maturity. His Uncle George (Anne’s brother) will soon release his power over to William. He has a lot to prove as a young king, and France is not making things any easier. You can see some of Anne and Henry mixed into his character. On the other hand, he does have a mind of his own, which sets him apart from his paternity. William also finds love in this book, and being a king does not make it any easier. Finally, Elizabeth is a strong female character, just like her real-life self was. She is cool and collected, while having a head for politics and the court. She, too, has her eye on Robert Dudley – a married man. As for the other characters, they are multi-dimensional, and one never knows who is behind what.

Plot:
The plot takes place over a few years to where William becomes eighteen and able to take the crown fully. Not everything is well; there are still tensions between the Catholics and Protestants, with France, Spain, and Scotland, and even around Mary and Anne. People are still not accepting Anne as their queen and some still support Mary as the next heir to the throne instead of William. A scandalous note about the birth of William is in the hands of the enemy. This note claims that William is not Henry VIII’s son but his uncle’s, George (Anne’s brother.) Hence, the name of the book – he would be a Boleyn king, not a Tudor. As the story progresses, there are some twists and turns. At first I thought that I would not find out who murdered the Alyce or who fathered the baby. I will say that it is there, and it is a surprise.  I did not suspect that person. And, that’s all I’m saying. The mystery is solved but more secrets and intrigue continue within the last few pages of the book. It leaves the reader wanting to see what happens in the next book while actually completing the initial plans of this book.

The Bottom Line:
Overall, I enjoyed the book. If you love the series The Tudors or anything to do with Henry VIII or Queen Elizabeth I, then you might want to pick this book up. (Just a note for those that liked The Tudors: There are not any sexual detailed scenes in the book, but the renaissance scandals are still present.)