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The Boleyn King (Boleyn Trilogy Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY RT BOOK REVIEWS

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 ...
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The Boleyn King (Boleyn Trilogy Series #1)

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Overview

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY RT BOOK REVIEWS

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.
 
Includes a preview of Laura Andersen’s The Boleyn Deceit

Praise for The Boleyn King
 
“Imaginative . . . Andersen focuses on creating an exciting, action-driven plot containing strong doses of both intrigue and romance. Tudor-era historical fiction fans who are willing to accept the unusual premise will be rewarded with an original and entertaining read that’s reminiscent of the best of Philippa Gregory.”Library Journal (starred review)
 
“Gripping . . . Andersen delves into an alternative Tudor England geared to rivet period fans and newcomers alike. . . . Perfect for Philippa Gregory fans.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“A surprising gem and a thoroughly enjoyable read.”Historical Novels Review
 
“Andersen’s novel, alive with historical flair and drama, satisfies both curious and imaginative Tudor aficionados. . . . Her multidimensional characters are so real that readers will wish it was history and eagerly await the next in the trilogy.”RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
 
“A wonderfully imaginative and well-written tale of intrigue, high court politics and desperate love.”Deseret News
 
‘What if . . .’ With these tantalizing words, Laura Andersen creates a fresh and vividly realized alternative world where Anne Boleyn not only lives, but also gives birth to a healthy son who will become King. With the introduction of Minuette, Princess Elizabeth’s lady-in-waiting, we meet an extraordinary young woman who embodies love and loyalty, and who fights to find the humanity at the heart of the most glamorous—and dangerous—court in Europe.”—Susan Elia MacNeal, author of Mr. Churchill’s Secretary
 
“Full of intrigue, conspiracies, and the accurate details so essential to good historical fiction . . . Anyone who has even the slightest fascination with the Tudors will want to devour this delectable novel in a single sitting.”—Tasha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of Death in the Floating City

Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.



From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Andersen's imaginative debut, the first in a planned trilogy, poses a simple but history-shattering question: What if Anne Boleyn had given Henry VIII a healthy son who had lived? The novel focuses on the increasingly tense atmosphere at court as that son, William, nears his 18th birthday and the end of his uncle's regency. When William discovers that pro-Catholic forces are plotting to take the crown from him and to bestow it on his older sister, Mary, he turns to his three closest friends (including his sister Elizabeth) to help him uncover the conspirators. Romantic entanglements, battlefield drama, and Anne Boleyn's enduring power and legacy all further complicate matters for the dashing young king and his supporters. VERDICT Once the basics of her alternate-history universe have been established, Andersen focuses on creating an exciting, action-driven plot containing strong doses of both intrigue and romance. Tudor-era historical fiction fans who are willing to accept the unusual premise will be rewarded with an original and entertaining read that's reminiscent of the best of Philippa Gregory.—Mara Bandy, Champaign P.L., IL
From the Publisher
Praise for The Boleyn King
 
“Imaginative . . . Andersen focuses on creating an exciting, action-driven plot containing strong doses of both intrigue and romance. Tudor-era historical fiction fans who are willing to accept the unusual premise will be rewarded with an original and entertaining read that’s reminiscent of the best of Philippa Gregory.”Library Journal (starred review)
 
“Gripping . . . Andersen delves into an alternative Tudor England geared to rivet period fans and newcomers alike. . . . Perfect for Philippa Gregory fans.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“A surprising gem and a thoroughly enjoyable read.”Historical Novels Review
 
“Andersen’s novel, alive with historical flair and drama, satisfies both curious and imaginative Tudor aficionados. . . . Her multidimensional characters are so real that readers will wish it was history and eagerly await the next in the trilogy.”RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
 
“A wonderfully imaginative and well-written tale of intrigue, high court politics and desperate love.”Deseret News
 
‘What if . . .’ With these tantalizing words, Laura Andersen creates a fresh and vividly realized alternative world where Anne Boleyn not only lives, but also gives birth to a healthy son who will become King. With the introduction of Minuette, Princess Elizabeth’s lady-in-waiting, we meet an extraordinary young woman who embodies love and loyalty, and who fights to find the humanity at the heart of the most glamorous—and dangerous—court in Europe.”—Susan Elia MacNeal, author of Mr. Churchill’s Secretary
 
“Full of intrigue, conspiracies, and the accurate details so essential to good historical fiction . . . Anyone who has even the slightest fascination with the Tudors will want to devour this delectable novel in a single sitting.”—Tasha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of Death in the Floating City
 
The Boleyn King deftly blends compelling characters, flawless social history, and courtly romance into an enthralling tale that’s impossible to put down.”—Stefanie Pintoff, Edgar Award–winning author of Secret of the White Rose
 
“A sumptuous, vividly imagined novel of a Boleyn king’s fateful rise to power amid the treacherous glamour of the Tudor court. A fantastic debut!”—C. W. Gortner, author of The Queen’s Vow
 
“A fascinating journey into what might have been, this novel of alternate history will keep you turning the pages and leave you hoping for a sequel.”—Kate Emerson, author of A Royal Inheritance
 
“Fans of both Stephenie Meyer and Philippa Gregory will find much to love in this evocative and well-written debut.”—Francine Mathews, author of Jack 1939
 
“Immensely addictive and twisty—kudos to Laura Andersen for her crafty plotting and rich characterizations. Deliciously scandalous and seductive, The Boleyn King delivers history and romance with equal passion.”—Becca Fitzpatrick, New York Times bestselling author of Hush, Hush
 
“From the intrigue of the Tudor court to the battlefields of France, you will be entranced by the power, emotion, and sweeping romance of this spellbinding novel. I loved it and can’t wait for the next book in the series!”—Syrie James, bestselling author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen
 
The Boleyn King is a riveting page-turner of a tale. I could not put it down. Laura Andersen’s splendidly imagined novel provides a fresh take on an era in history that’s been done to death. For historical fiction fans and Tudor aficionados, The Boleyn King is a must-read.”—Sherry Jones, author of Four Sisters, All Queens
Kirkus Reviews
A debut novel that considers what might have happened if Anne Boleyn had been able to give Henry VIII the male heir he required. In real life, Anne Boleyn miscarried. In this re-imagined history, she gives birth to a son, William. William is 10 when his father, Henry, dies and he becomes king. Among the extended family are youngsters who are raised with William, including Dominic and the girl they call Minuette, who keeps a diary. The three become good friends, and later, the two young men both fall in love with Minuette. William's half sister Mary (of Bloody Mary fame) maintains a staunch Catholicism while the rest of the family supports the Protestant faith. Mary is seen as a threat who could possibly lead a Catholic rebellion, tearing England apart. Peace comes, and war is waged against foreign nations based on whether those nations are predominantly Catholic or Protestant. There is fighting and spying and a conspiracy around a rumored written affidavit that states William is not Henry's son after all. An entertaining book for Tudor history buffs that's grounded in acute psychological and political insight.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345534101
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/14/2013
  • Series: Boleyn Trilogy Series , #1
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 31,337
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Laura Andersen is married with four children, and possesses a constant sense of having forgotten something important. She has a BA in English (with an emphasis in British history), which she puts to use by reading everything she can lay her hands on.
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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

28 June 1553

Hampton Court

I am seventeen today and have decided that, although I shall never be a scholar like Elizabeth, I can at least keep a diary. My history is quickly told--daughter of a French mother and an English gentleman, no siblings, and no parents since I was eight. My full name is Genevieve Antoinette Wyatt. It was Elizabeth who first called me Minuette. I was born more than a month before I was expected, and the first time she saw me, Elizabeth thought me too little for the name my French mother had given me. She attempted to call me Mignonette--meaning dainty and darling--but her three-year-old tongue did not pronounce it properly. I have been Minuette to my friends ever since.

The importance of this day goes beyond just my seventeenth birthday--today I return to Elizabeth’s household after an absence of two years. Queen Anne has been my guardian since my mother’s death nearly nine years ago, and I spent my childhood with Elizabeth. But when I turned fifteen, the queen took me into her own household in order to train me properly for Elizabeth’s service. I have learnt to stand quietly when necessary, so that I am almost forgotten. I have learnt to remember names and faces, to know the habits of noblemen and the idiosyncrasies of ambassadors. And I have learnt to lock away secrets, for a lady of the privy chamber must be able to keep her own counsel.

Elizabeth has come to Hampton Court not only to reclaim me but also to join in the weeklong celebrations for William’s birthday. There will be feasting and dancing tonight, and I will pretend, as I always have, that the celebrations are half for me. But today the only celebration I truly care about is seeing my friends. Although Queen Anne spends much of her time with her children, I have not seen either of them for a year. Last summer the queen decided I was too dependent on others, and so I was left behind every time she joined the court at Whitehall or Greenwich or Richmond. I spent six months at Hever and six months at Blickling Hall as her resident lady. A great privilege, to be sure--but I would have given up any privilege to see my friends!

Dominic has come as well. A waiting woman told me that Master Courtenay rode in after dark last night and is even now with the king. I have not seen him for a full sixteen months, not since he was named Lieutenant of the March along the Welsh border. I am sure he could have managed to visit at least once in all that time, but his letters always pleaded duty, a virtue to which he is too much wed. I wonder what he has brought me for my birthday. I hope it is fabric--velvet or satin or shot silk. But it is probably only a book. Dominic has always thought it his calling to teach me to be wise.

Minuette closed the diary, pristine vellum pages bound by soft calfskin, and marked her place with a bit of burgundy velvet ribbon.

The sharp, familiar voice of Alyce de Clare came from the open doorway behind her. “Are you still here? I was looking forward to having the chamber to myself for once.”

Minuette swiveled on her stool and smiled. “You know you will miss me as much as I’m going to miss you.”

Alyce was nearly three years older, and she, like Minuette, came from a relatively unimportant family. Alyce had come to Queen Anne because her father had been a secretary in Lord Rochford’s household. The queen’s brother could be as difficult to please as Anne herself, but both of them were quick to reward loyalty. Alyce’s father had served Rochford long and well (and discreetly), and his daughter had been rewarded with a place at court where she might be expected to make a good marriage. She and Minuette had been steady chambermates for the last two years.

Alyce attempted a smile, but it didn’t touch more than the corners of her mouth. “You will be too busy being important in Princess Elizabeth’s household to remember to miss me.”

“Of course I’ll remember.” Minuette stood, which meant the shorter Alyce had to look up a little. “I just wish . . .”

“Wish what?”

Minuette hesitated, but she knew that this might be her last chance to speak her worries. “Alyce, I’m worried about you. I think . . . I think you are in trouble. I would help you if I could.”

Alyce’s brown eyes blanked--a skill most women picked up rapidly in the queen’s household. On Alyce, it had the effect of sharpening her generous mouth and rounded cheeks, so she looked more like a statue of a woman rather than her usual vivacious, warm self. With distant courtesy, she said, “I can’t imagine what you mean.”

“You should speak to the queen,” Minuette said firmly, letting her eyes linger on Alyce’s waist. Though still tightly cinched beneath a yellow-and-black-patterned stomacher, it had been growing thicker over the last eight weeks. “Someone will tell her soon enough, and you know how she hates gossip.”

For a heartbeat Alyce seemed to teeter on complete denial, then with a rush of emotion she said, “And you know very well that the queen will be angry no matter who tells her.”

Minuette did know. But she put a hand on the stiffly embroidered sleeve of Alyce’s yellow dress and said gently, “You will have to act very soon. If I can help in any way--perhaps I could speak to Elizabeth--”

“No!” Alyce jerked away, her waist-length brown hair swirling. “Don’t tell anyone. Certainly not the princess. She is the very last person who would help me.”

“Elizabeth is my dearest friend, she would--”

“Princess Elizabeth is her mother’s daughter.” Alyce smiled fully this time, a bitter and twisted smile that broke Minuette’s heart. “The rising star and the setting sun . . . but both of them can burn.”

“Who is the father?” Minuette asked quietly. It was a question she had pondered often the last few weeks. One would think that, in the close quarters of the court, she would know whom Alyce had been dallying with. But her friend also knew how to keep secrets.

Alyce shook her head. “You are not meant for these sorts of games, Minuette. You are too trusting and too generous. Those qualities will hurt you one day--but not through any action of mine. Forget what you have guessed. I can take care of myself.”

She turned away with the grace of a sylph and vanished as suddenly as she’d come. Minuette sighed, knowing she would hold her tongue, as Alyce had asked. For now.

Dominic Courtenay fingered the necklace he had bought at the abbey fair in Shrewsbury: cabochon-cut sapphires and pearls to circle the neck, with a filigree star pendant. Neither exotic nor terribly expensive, but Minuette had little jewelry of her own and she delighted in impractical gifts.

He had just finished tying up the pendant in a square of fabric when William opened the door without knocking and shut it in the faces of those who followed him everywhere. He was dressed for sport, in a linen shirt and leather jerkin.

“Why is it,” William said accusingly, “that you are the only man in England who keeps me waiting?”

Dominic gave him a wry smile. “Because I’m the only man in England who still thinks of you as Will rather than as the king.”

William snorted and crossed the room. Picking up a sheet of heavy paper from the desk, he read a few words aloud. “ ‘Once there were four stars’ . . . you wrote down the star story for Minuette?”

Dominic pulled the letter away and said, “It’s not easy to share your birthday with a king, especially not one whose birth was attended by such signs as stars falling from the sky.”

“It’s a fair enough gift.”

“What did you get her?” Even as he asked, he wondered why it sounded like a challenge.

“It’s a surprise. And speaking of gifts . . .” William’s voice trailed off meaningfully.

Dominic shook his head. “I thought you were anxious for sparring practice.”

“Only to prove that my reach is longer than it was when you left--you might find it harder to disarm me.”

Dominic cast a measuring eye over the boy he had known since birth. It was true that he had gone some way to matching his father’s height. Still, Dominic was five years older and a natural swordsman. He didn’t think William was his equal yet; they would find out soon enough in a fair sparring bout.

Only once had Dominic made the mistake of going easy. When William was ten and had been king just six months, he and Dominic had spent the morning fighting with wooden practice swords. But William grew impatient with the clumsy replicas and demanded real swords. The swordmaster hesitated, but a nod from Lord Rochford, who was watching their practice, sent him scurrying off.

William caught the implied permission from the Lord Protector. He said nothing, but Dominic saw the set of his still-childish jaw as they were laced into the bulky, padded jerkins that would be some measure of protection against blunted steel.

For the first time ever, Dominic allowed himself to make mistakes as they sparred--nothing obvious, or so he thought. Just a misstep here and a delayed feint there, enough to give the younger boy the edge.

But he had miscalculated. Without warning, William threw his sword straight at Dominic’s head. Only a quick duck saved him from being hit squarely by the hilt. Too surprised to move further, Dominic stood silent as William marched up to him, the command in his voice making up for the fact that he was six inches shorter. “Don’t you ever do that again.”

“Do what?” Dominic asked.

William struck him once, hard on the cheek. “Don’t ever lower your guard. I will be the best because I’ve earned it. I don’t need you to hand me my victories.”

He turned and walked out of the practice arena. He had not raised his voice or lost control of his colour, but Dominic had felt the force of his anger whipping through the air.

If William’s skill had increased as much as his height, he might earn a victory today, and Dominic had just the weapon for him to use. He opened his trunk and removed a layer of neatly folded clothing--plain tunics and jerkins, as befitted a soldier in the field--to uncover the gift that lay beneath.

There was really no way to make a sword unrecognizable. With a grin of delight, William pulled it free from its scabbard and took a few enthusiastic swings before holding it horizontally in one hand to test the balance.

Dominic turned the sword so that William could see clearly the four star-shaped gems laid in the gold hilt. “Now there’s one place where the four of us are always together.”

William laughed. “You sound as though you’re dying. Or perhaps you’ve met an accommodating Welsh miss and wish to change allegiance?”

With a grin, Dominic shrugged off his sentimentality. “You’ll be the first to know.”

As she entered her mother’s outer chamber, Elizabeth straightened her shoulders, ensuring that the green and gold brocade of her dress did not ripple across the stomacher but flared perfectly from tiny waist to wide skirts. Elizabeth had heard her mother cut a lady to shreds with her tongue for an uneven hem or a slight stain, and she did not doubt that Anne would subject her own daughter to the same.

A dozen of her mother’s ladies were grouped in threes and fours around the ornate presence chamber. Several were working on a tapestry while others wrote letters or talked quietly amongst themselves. One lady, with a straight fall of rich brown hair, played lightly on a lute. As Elizabeth passed her, the young woman looked up and her fingers missed a chord.

She returned to playing almost at once, but not before giving Elizabeth a hostile glance. What was her name? One of the de Clares, she thought, but not from an important branch or Elizabeth would know her better. Almost she stopped to speak to the woman, but her mother was waiting.

Queen Anne sat in a gilded wooden chair placed next to a tall window, a Tyndale Bible open on her lap. As Elizabeth curtsied, she wondered how much longer her mother would be able to see the fine print of the books she loved so well. These days she could read only in brightest sunlight.

Rising with a seductive grace that was still the envy of every woman in England, her mother said, “Will you join me within, Elizabeth?” Despite the intonation, it was not a question.

She followed her mother to the door in the north wall that led to the intimate but no less elegant privy chamber. Only one lady of the privy chamber was inside--one who flung herself at Elizabeth in a most inelegant manner.

“Elizabeth!”

Minuette hugged Elizabeth with unrestrained delight while the queen, who would have frozen any other woman with a stare of ice for such behaviour, smiled upon the pair. Beneath her own delight, Elizabeth felt a brief spasm of pain. Minuette had always had charm--not the studied, showy type, but natural as breath and as much a part of her as her honey-coloured hair. Elizabeth could clearly remember her father visiting the schoolroom in the year before his death. She had spent an hour translating Latin and Greek for him, doing mathematics, and discussing theology. Though he’d complimented Elizabeth’s mind, it was nine-year-old Minuette who had disarmed him. When the formidable, enormous King Henry had left, it had been Minuette whom he’d hugged goodbye.

Elizabeth might have hated her for that charm, if Minuette weren’t so utterly without guile.

Queen Anne’s beautiful voice broke into Elizabeth’s memory. “I take it that you are both pleased.”

Beneath the words lay a hint of perplexity, as though she could not imagine why. Truthfully, Elizabeth would have been hard-pressed to name a single woman whom her mother considered a friend. She had always preferred men.

Feeling almost sorry for her mother, Elizabeth said, “I could not be more pleased. It is generous of you to allow her to return to my household.”

Her mother might like flattery, but she was never stupid. “Considering that you have been pressing the king for months, you cannot be surprised. She is a trifle young still--as are you, Elizabeth.”

“I will be twenty in September,” Elizabeth said mildly.

As if she hadn’t heard, her mother went on, “But your brother is determined to allow you an unusual measure of independence.”

It was Minuette, naturally, who had something complimentary to say. “And how could he do otherwise, with the example of his great father before him? Did not King Henry give you the right of femme sole over the objections of his council?”
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Reading Group Guide

1. If “History is written by the victors,” what do you think is the biggest impact of changing a story?

2. William says, “I will be the best because I’ve earned it. I don’t need you to hand me my victories.” (page 12 ) Do you think this is true? Is William a self-made man? Does your opinion change of him by the end of the book?

3. Why do you think their reputation within the court is so important to people like William and Elizabeth? Why are even conjecture and rumor dangerous? Do you think Min u tte and Dominic feel the same way?

4. William and Elizabeth are of royal parentage. Dominic is the son of a supposed traitor. Minuette is the daughter of a trusted servant and confi dante. How much do you think parentage matters to these characters? Where does it affect them most in life? How have they each overcome the generation before them?

5. The rift between Protestants and Catholics is a huge divide in The Boleyn King . Compare and contrast it to today’s societal divisions in America, such as Republicans and Democrats, or even between the suburbs and the city.

6. In tweaking history for this story, the author opens up a world of possibilities. What historical event do you think would have the greatest impact if changed? What would that impact be?

7. In the context of this story, what qualities do you think make for an ideal servant? An ideal ruler?

8. In an age where social standing is of the utmost importance, what do you think is the most important reason for a person to be married? Why? Does your opinion change for royalty versus commoners?

9. Do you think members of royalty can have friends? What about someone like a present-day world leader? Could you be friends with your boss, or your employees, the way William and Dominic are friends?

10. Compare and contrast how each of the four main characters deal with the ideal of castle intrigue.

11. What would be the most unnerving secret message that you could receive? In what manner?

12. Compare and contrast what is deemed public in this novel versus what is deemed private. How does that compare to today’s Internet culture?

13. What is said in letters in this novel versus what is said out loud? Which do you think has more impact? Which method of communication is more important to you?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    Good read if you are a Tudor fan

    Being a Tudor fan who has read a number of books in this time period I appreciated the author's unique spin on history. I found this book entertaining and hard to put down. It appeared to be a thriller at first, but then became a romance. The book probably would have been a five star if it had been just one of the two instead of both. Niether plots are completely resolved at the end, which of course means you'll want to buy the next in the series.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 6, 2013

    What if Anne Boleyn had delivered a healthy baby boy instead of

    What if Anne Boleyn had delivered a healthy baby boy instead of a stillborn child? What if Henry VIII had stayed married to Anne, not married Jane Seymour and no Prince Edward had been born? What if Henry didn't execute Anne's brother George or any of the other so-called lovers of the Queen? What if Bloody Mary had never become queen? What if Anne outlived Henry VIII, her brother George became Lord Protector of the young king Henry IX -- a young man who embodies the brilliance, lustiness and political acumen of both his parents? Laura Andersen takes us there into that hypothetical history of the Tudors with such delicious historical detail that the suspension of disbelief happens unconsciously and the reader has to work at it to remember that this alternate version is not real.




    "The Boleyn King" picks up with the political turmoil that continuously brewed between Protestants and Catholics during the Tudor years and 18-year-old King Henry IX (William, or Will, to his family and friends) navigates these treacherous waters with a perspicacity one would expect of Henry VIII's and Anne's son, and Elizabeth's full brother. The old scandal about Anne and her brother George hangs over Will's young reign and the existence of the "Penitent's Confession" -- a document that purports to contain a confession of one of Anne's ladies alleging an incestuous relationship between her mistress and George Boleyn that resulted in the birth of Anne's son -- threatens to destroy his hold on the throne if it falls into the hands of the Catholic faction that supports Mary as the only true heir of Henry VIII.




    Will only trusts his sister Elizabeth, his best friend (who becomes one of his counsel) Dominic Courtenay and Genevieve Antionette Wyatt, called Minuette for charming reasons who was born at the same time as Will and grows up in both Elizabeth's and Anne's households. Will, Dominic and Minuette work together in the race to locate the Penitent's Confession and in the process their adult romantic feelings come to life -- both Dominic and Will fall in love with Minuette and she is torn, having loved them both as brothers all her life.




    As a debut novel, this one sets a VERY high bar. The sequel, "The Boleyn Deceit" is due out this fall and I cannot wait!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 24, 2013

    Terrific Adventure! Laura Andersen has taken a "what if&quo

    Terrific Adventure!
    Laura Andersen has taken a "what if" and spun it into a wonderful adventure. Seated on the throne is William, the living, breathing son of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Told through the eyes of William, his sister, Elizabeth, and two of their closest friends, Dominic and Minuette (whose mother was maid to Anne and who was born on the same day as Will). Together they fight against those who would unseat William and claim his half-sister Mary as queen. Together they face their true relationships and feelings. But there are secrets to be held and uncovered. It's a wonderful story, well told. I couldn't put the book down, and I certainly can't wait until next book in the trilogy is released in November 2013. I'm a big fan of Karen Harper, Sharon Kay Penman, Elizabeth Chadwick, and several other historical novelists. Andersen certainly has the writing chops to join the group of fine Storytellers.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2013

    Well it is certainly historical fiction and the author has taken

    Well it is certainly historical fiction and the author has taken a stab at what most historical buffs have wondered at one time or another. What would British history look like if Anne Boleyn had given Henry VIII a male heir.
    I think if given the chance I would travel back and give Henry a kick up his royal bottom for murdering the woman most likely to give him strong healthy children.
    So the premise is not only did Anne give him a son, that son becomes king. Elizabeth plays merely a secondary role as princess.
    By the way, as the son of ruthless Henry and conniving Anne, William needs to get a move on and find his inner monarch.
    It was a fun read, although I do think a little less importance could have been given to the potential bed bunnies of Minuette. I would have liked to have seen more intrigue and political machinations instead of who will be the next mistress of whom.
    Would his son have been just as cruel and self-centred? Would Elizabeth have remained childless? What of Mary Stuart, who remains with head in place in this scenario?
    So many possibilities.
    Overall the book swerves strongly towards romantic fiction with a strong swig of history.
    I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2013

    Romance masquerading as alternate history.

    The premise was interesting, but instead of being about the Boleyns and the Tudors, the book turned out to be a romance novel about two peripheral characters. I couldn't finish reading it. Sad. I would have really liked the book if it fulfilled its premise.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    Highly Recommended - check it out

    What a great twist on history. Very imaginative ,makes you think what might have been. I enjoyed every page.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Ummmmm no?

    Interesting "what if?" concept. It wasn't a BAD book, but so completely off in left field it just didn't make sense.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Not bad but not great

    This book was ok but not really what I expected. I thought it would be more about Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII's son, given the title, but it was mainly about his friends. It was a simple read and a good way to spend a rainy day. Kind of soap opera-ish but I didn't mind and will probably continue the series to see what happens.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2014

    Oh how I wanted to love this twist on historical fiction. At fi

    Oh how I wanted to love this twist on historical fiction. At first I wondered if I'd even finish it, dissapointing because I already had the second of this trilogy on my shelf. I felt at the start that it was a little too "YA" for my taste. The story could have taken place in any time as well. The writting got better, the story moved along there was some bit of intrigue that was not overly layed out. I too could have done with out the who will she chose story line- the least complex or interesting part of the story. I will read the second-following this one, and I'm sure will need to read the last but, It could have been better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Nice twist on the history of England

    I was pleasantly surprised by how well written this fictional account of the boy that Anne Boleyn lost (that caused her to be executed) was and I am really looking forward to reading the next installment of the story.
    Elizabeth I is one of my favorite historical figures to read about and this tale of the brother she never had is wonderful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    It is refreshing to read a novel of the Tudors with the twist of

    It is refreshing to read a novel of the Tudors with the twist of a “what-if” scenario. What if Ann Boleyn and Henry’s son had lived? What if Ann had never been beheaded? What if William was handed the throne at eighteen? How would the lives of Princess Mary and Elizabeth have played out? Anyone familiar with Tudor history knows the story has lots of death, intimate affairs, anger, humiliations, and massive power struggles.

    Andersen does a splendid job giving the well-known story a twist while keeping it believable. The addition of Minuette, an orphan taken in by the Tudor family as a ward, is a very nice touch. While not believable in a historical sense, Minuette adds a nice flavor to the story that ties many other familiar elements and characters together.

    “‘She’s not ruined,’ Minuette said sharply.’She is dead.’”

    I would like to have seen the usage of more description, as I felt the story hardly described anything other than the characters. This book is also written more in a young adult style than that of adult historical fiction. Even so, I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the Tudors and their eternal drama.

    *This book was provided in exchange for an honest review
    *You can view the original review at San Francisco Book Review

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    what if What if . What if

    What if that should be the name this read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2014

    Good

    .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2014

    Great book- romantic without being trasjy Great book- romantic without being trashy and a solid story

    I only wish it was longer!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2014

    great book can't wait to read another one by this author

    This book explored a great theory and gave depth to the character of Anne Bolyn. I was intrigued by the other characters in the book and was hoping for more when it ended. Loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    Will read

    Will read parts 2 and 3

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  • Posted May 9, 2014

    ARC won from Goodreads First Reads. This was a very good boo

    ARC won from Goodreads First Reads.




    This was a very good book. I was intrigued by the premise, and felt that I was not let down by the author. It was very easy to read, even the parts about history and politics, subjects that I usually tune out while reading. Sometimes it was hard to forget the parts of history that really happened, for instance, the remaining 4 wives of Henry, but most of the time, I was just lost in the story, taking it for what it was, an alternate history novel.




    The story is told from alternating view points, but is easy to follow. Some are regular narrative, other parts are told through the diary entries of one of the characters. 




    Based on the ending, I'm assuming that this was the first in a series. I have recently been tired of all the books coming out that are part of a series. Can't an author just write a story and be done? Part of the beauty of reading is being able to imagine how everything turns out. I must say however, that this for this book, I'm glad it will be continued. For some reason (and not just because of how the ending was written) I wasn't ready for this story to be done. I need to know how it all turns out! Will Elizabeth eventually be queen, or Mary? Who will William marry, if anyone? Will the story segue back into reality at some point? These are things I have to know, and I can't wait to finish the series and find out. Beautiful debut, Ms. Anderson!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2014

    What a twist!

    I really enjoyed this book. Almost wished it had gone that way

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  • Posted January 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This is the first book in the Ann Boleyn trilogy, but I accident

    This is the first book in the Ann Boleyn trilogy, but I accidentally read it second! I was a bit worried that since I basically had an idea of how things would end up, I wouldn’t enjoy the book as much…BOY WAS I WRONG!! Even knowing what I did, it was so interesting to find out more and see how it all began. .
    Just the initial premise itself is intriguing, what if Ann had a son that lived and became king?? It’s a place where love, mystery, friendship, betrayal, loyalty and murder are mingling together and keep you pulled in to the very end!! The second book is just as good so run and get it!! I can’t wait to see what happens in the 3rd!!! 

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  • Posted November 16, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    A fresh twist on this famous royal court. If you like historical

    A fresh twist on this famous royal court. If you like historical fiction, you won't be able to put down this juicy, twisting, captivating book.

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