Thursday, December 26, 2013

Book Review: "The Boleyn Deceit" by Laura Andersen

The Boleyn Deceit Laura Andersen
Published: November 5, 2013
ISBN-10: 0345534115 
Genre: Alternate Historical Fiction
Source: Library
Highly Recommended for fans of Historical, especially Tudor, Fiction

Summary:
Henry IX, known as William, is the son of Anne Boleyn and now the leader of England, his regency period finally at an end. His newfound power, however, comes with the looming specter of war with the other major powers of Europe, with strategic alliances that must be forged on both the battlefield and in the bedroom, and with a court, severed by religion, rife with plots to take over the throne. Will 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 Anne Boleyn. But as the pressure rises alongside the threat to his life, even they William must begin to question-and to fear....

My Thoughts:
First off--and this is very important--you really need to read The Boleyn King (my review here) before you read this book.  This is not the kind of series where you can just pick up wherever and start reading...you really need to read it from the beginning.  I would also suggest, if you read The Boleyn King some time ago, re-reading it to refresh some of the details.

I say this not as a criticism, but as a fact.  As this is the second book in a trilogy, the first book really is necessary for all the background information and character introductions.  Personally, I appreciate the fact that Andersen did not waste verbiage in this book rewriting details and characters.  However, someone who has not read The Boleyn King will have a hard time with this book.

Also, because this is the second in a trilogy, I didn't expect it to be as good.  That just seems to be the way it is with many trilogies--the 2nd book is just the glue between the 1st and 3rd books.  Well, I was wrong.  If anything, I felt The Boleyn Deceit was better than its predecessor!  Because the characters and parts of the plot had already been established, Andersen had the freedom to really delve into the relationships between the 4 main characters--King Henry IX (called William), his best friend and Confidante Dominic, their sister's lady in waiting and the love of both William and Dominic, and--the only non-fictional character in the book--William's older sister Elizabeth.

There is a lot of intrigue in this plot--but let's face it, intrigue was sort of the rule of the land in late 16th century England (factual or otherwise).  I think the greatest part of this book--or, should I say, this series--is the fact that Laura Andersen has made me--someone with a degree in English History!--forget that none of this actually happened!

This book kept my attention throughout--although I wish Andersen had included a character listing or tree or something.  With so many characters going both by their names and by their titles, things did get a bit confusing at times.  However, that being said, I'm still waiting on pins and needs for The Boleyn Reckoning to come out and conclude this entertaining trilogy!

I was not solicited for this review and I received no compensation for this post.




The Boleyn Deceit
by Laura Andersen
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