Laura Andersen – The Boleyn Reckoning
Length: 416 pages
Genre: Alternate History
Started: 18 July 2014
Finished: 19 July 2014
Where did it come from? I preordered this from Amazon. And it came out right when I was craving historical fiction, so: win!
Why do I have it? I really enjoyed the first two books, and I wanted to know how she was going to end it. (I mean, I knew how some parts of it had to end, but y’know.)
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 15 July 2014.
Letting the King make
me Queen although I’m married?
Well, that’s bigamy!
(I’m so sorry, that was terrible, but I just can’t help myself sometimes.)
Summary: Minuette and Dominic have been best friends with William Tudor, son of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, since they were all children. But now everything has changed. Will is King of England, and Minuette and Dominic have gotten married in secret, without his permission. That might be forgivable, if William were not also in love with Minuette, and overthrowing a much-needed French alliance to make her his queen. Even Princess Elizabeth cannot intercede on behalf of her friends, as she fears equally for her brother’s increasingly fragile and dangerous state of mind, as well as the ramifications for the country she loves and strives in secret to protect. With Princess Mary stirring up trouble amongst the Catholics, foreign enemies gathering forces, and treachery lurking at the heart of the court, the realm is in great danger, and Dominic and Minuette’s love – and betrayal – may be the pivot point that tears the country in two.
Review: I have really, really been enjoying this series. I haven’t been reading a ton of historical fiction lately, and I realized I was craving it, and then I realized that this book was coming out, so I jumped all over that, and devoured it in less than 24 hours. These books are a great blend of history and imagination, or politics and romance, of quick-and-easy read without feeling overly fluffy. Perfect for a lazy summer afternoon reading on the porch, basically, if more typical “beach reads” aren’t your thing.
I continue to love Andersen’s characters, both real and fictional. (Even William, who is becoming more and more his father’s son over the course of this book, stayed interesting even as he became somewhat annoyingly Tudor-ish.) I also really appreciated that her love triangle was a really a triangle, not just a love-V – namely, that Dominic and Will are best friends that love each other just about as much as either of them loves Minuette. (See also: Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series.) I also really enjoyed the plotting of this book. The big reveal happens much sooner than I was expecting it to, and while I wasn’t necessarily expecting a happy ending for all involved (Elizabeth becoming Queen means Will was going to die, for one thing), parts of this book were a lot darker than I was expecting. (That’s a good thing. Darker in an interesting and compelling way, I mean.) Overall, this book (and this series as a whole) was totally absorbing, thoroughly enjoyable, and ultimately satisfying read. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Not a standalone; some earlier plot threads are summarized as they’re wrapped up but you really need to have read the first two to understand a lot of the character dynamics. But the series as a whole is definitely recommended if you like the Tudors, alternate history, or historical romance that’s got some substance mixed in with the scandal.
Other Reviews: S. Krishna’s Books
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First Line: “My lady.” Mary refused to acknowledge the greeting, for Archbishop Cranmer’s avoidance of her true title was an insult to her birth and position.
Vocab: (see the whole list)
- p. 210: ““What do you say to giving them a show? Forget wood – let’s use steel.” “Rebated?” Dominic asked without really paying attention, for he was trying to decipher Minuette’s vague warning.” – to blunt (an edged or pointed weapon).
- p. 217: “Dominic didn’t even risk going back to his room, sending Harrington to retrieve the few personal items already packed and then to fetch horses, including Dominic’s own favored gray stallion, Daybreak, and the white jennet William had given Minuette on her seventeenth birthday.” – a small Spanish riding horse.
- p. 243: “Trust Mary to turn her final words into a tractate on religion, Robert thought.” – A treatise; an essay.
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