Author: Laura Andersen.
Published: May 14th 2013.
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sort: Part one of ‘The Boleyn trilogy’
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
What if Anne Boleyn had given Henry VIII the son he so desperately wanted? 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 counsellor, 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.
This is what I call: a solid book. Interesting topic, an okay writing-style and okay characters. I liked it, but it’s nothing too special. Everything is a bit too ‘okay’, but I give the author credits for the original twist. I’ve never read a book like this about The Tudors.
What if Anne Boleyn gave life to a boy? What if that boy grew up to be king after his father’s dead? Those are the questions we get answered in this story. Henry IX, seventeen years old son of the deceased Henry VIII, is waiting to prove himself. He is known as William and he trusts three people in his life; Dominic, the orphan Minuette who was raised by Anne Boleyn and his older sister, Elizabeth. There is an interesting friendship between these people and I was happy to see that there was some loyalty.
One day, Minuette discovers that a friend got herself involved in a dangerous complot. The girl dies in an ‘accident’ and Williams sends Minuette as spy to several households. Someone wants to take the thrown and they are trying to spread rumors about his birth: they want to brand him as bastard. The complot was good and is partly solved at the end. I liked that there is a conclusion with enough open endings for the second book.
The characters were okay, but I felt a distant. I wasn’t connect to any of them. Minuette is a brave girl. She dares to speak her mind to the king, but she was a bit too naive for me. William sounds like someone who could be a great king. He’s sometimes a bit too much like his father (when it comes to women). He is young and impulsive, but I think he needs time to adapt to his power. Dominic is difficult to read and Elizabeth isn’t enough in the book to develop. I was looking forward to see Anne's role in this book, but she is hardly there. The love-triangle at the end felt forced and out of place,
Overall, interesting take on The Tudors, but I wasn’t blown away. I’m not going to read the next book soon, perhaps not at all.