Click here to read reviewer Luan Gaines' take on The Boleyn King.
Lovers of historical fiction may have mixed feelings about The Boleyn King. After all, it presents an alternative to the history we actually know. What if Anne Boleyn hadnít miscarried in January 1536? What if she had instead given birth to a son who later became Henry IX, King of England (Jane Seymour be damned)? Thatís the scenario at the heart of this intriguing trilogy.
This first book in the series begins as King Henry IX (better known as William) is in the early years of his reign. George Boleyn is Lord Protector until William comes of age, and Queen Anne is still the object of widespread hatred. Many in England would rather see Lady Mary on the throne and Catholicism restored to their country.
As he eagerly anticipates his 18th birthday, William is surrounded by a close circle of friends that includes trusted confidant Dominic, his sister Elizabeth, and Minuetteóa ward of Queen Anneís who was born on the same day as William. However, heís also surrounded by courtiers who plot against him and pose threats to the people he loves most.
William is anxious to prove that heís Henry VIIIís son as he deals with the possibility of a war with France. But soon, he discovers a bigger threat even closer to home. When a member of Queen Anneís household is murdered, a Catholic plot is uncovered thatís intended to disinherit William from the throne and replace him with Mary. Minuette becomes a key player to unraveling the plot before the Catholics can carry it out.
The king is also much like his father when it comes to love. Though he tries to negotiate a marriage based on political strategy, he soon realizes that his true love is Minuette. The only problem is that Dominic is also in love with her. This love triangle sets the stage for the next book.
As a connoisseur of historical fiction, I didnít expect to enjoy this as much as I did. Some suspension of disbelief is required in order to read this novel, particularly if youíre a Tudor history buff. The Boleyn King has all the lavishness, intrigue and suspense of other Tudor-era novels, but Andersen puts a bold and fresh spin on the history that I felt was believable. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.