Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Review: "The Boleyn Reckoning" by Laura Andersen

The Boleyn Reckoning Laura Andersen
Published: July 15, 2014
ISBN: 9780345534132
Genre: Alternative Historical Fiction
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4 / 5
Highly Recommended for fans of Historical, especially Tudor, Fiction

You can read my review of the first novel in this trilogy, The Boleyn King, here and the second novel, The Boleyn Deceit, here.

Elizabeth Tudor is at a crossroads. After a disastrous winter, the Duke of Northumberland has been executed for treason while his son, Robert Dudley, claims from the Tower that the true traitor has not yet been caught. And though her brother, William, has survived smallpox, scars linger in the king's body and mind and his patience is at an end. 

As English ships and soldiers arm themselves against the threat of invasion, William marches to the drumbeat of his own desires rather than his country's welfare. Wary of this changed royal brother, Elizabeth assembles her own shadow court to protect England as best she can. But William, able to command armies and navies, cannot command hearts. 

Minuette and Dominic have married in secret, and after an ill-timed pregnancy, they take to flight. Faced with betrayal by the two he loved most, William's need for vengeance pushes England to the brink of civil war and in the end, Elizabeth must choose: her brother, or her country? 

My Thoughts: 
I've been waiting for this book since I read the last word of The Boleyn Deceit.  I'm always wary of alternative fiction, but this series completely sucked me in to the very last page of this, the last book.

I read each of the books in this trilogy as they came out, which meant that there was a substantial period of time between my readings of each book.  If I had it to do over again, and I would recommend to anyone who is interested in these books, to just binge read the three, one right after the other.  None of these, at least of all The Boleyn Reckoning, is a standalone book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I never knew where the plot was going, and that rarely happens to me anymore.  Three of the four main characters--the three fictional ones--were all dynamically written.  And the fourth, Elizabeth, was--to me--the most interesting of all.  Of course, I don't know if I can give all the credit to Andersen for that.  Let's face it, Elizabeth I is one of the most captivating women in history.

I had only a few minor complaints, and that really reflect on the series as a whole and not specifically this book.  I felt some of the secondary "real" characters, such as Jane Grey and Mary Tudor, sort of appeared and disappeared throughout the book and I wish they would have been more present throughout instead of just appearing here and there.

This is not meant as a criticism--if anything, it is a compliment--but I felt a little off my bearing by this whole series.  I am quite familiar with this period in history (it was my major!), but I kept forgetting that these books were fiction and the at William, Dominic, and Minuette never existed and that none of this ever happened!

Unless you are a hard-core purist and accuracy-fanatic when it comes to historical fiction, I would recommend this series to anyone.  However, as I said, you need to start at the beginning and read straight through to the conclusion.

I received an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review.  I received no other compensation for this post.

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