Confession: I hated history in high school, but I love historical fiction, especially anything to do with the Boleyn family. So, when I came across this book last year at the bookstore, I instantly picked it up and read the summary. And holy crap, I fell in love.
The Boleyn King is basically a what-if story. What if instead of losing her last baby, Anne Boleyn carried to term and gave birth to a son? What would have happened?
Answer: a whole hell of a lot of things.
Now, here’s my summary. The Boleyn King centers on King Henry IX who is called William, his sister Elizabeth, their friend Dominic, and Genevieve – called Minuette – who was born the same day as William. The book begins on their seventeenth birthday and her return to court. Like with any book that deals with a king, there is much intrigue with court life and those who play games to raise their standings.
This book was quick paced and well written. I loved reading about the plots surrounding William’s court, and how Minuette was trying to unravel them. It was especially entertaining as she tried to figure out her feelings towards William and Dominic. The aftermath of Anne Boleyn’s death was the real turning point in this book when William starts to realize that the friendship that he has with Minuette might be more than he originally thought.
There were only a few minor issues that I had with this book.
Now, it’s been a while since I read The Other Boleyn Girl but I could have sworn that Mary – Henry and Mary Boleyn’s daughter – wasn’t that much older than Elizabeth – Henry and Anne Boleyn’s daughter – but in the book they make mention that Mary is thirty-seven, while Elizabeth is nineteen. Whoa! (9/11/14 update: whoops got my facts wrong on that one) And again with the love triangles! As much as it makes for intriguing reading, it drives me insane, especially because it is between Minuette, William, and Dominic. All three of them are friends! There is no way that this can end happily.
And speaking of endings! The Boleyn King ends with such a cliffhanger that I was really glad that I also checked out the sequel.
Final rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Writing was great, the characters were great, and the plot was greatly executed.
Bookshelf worthy? If you were a fan of historical fiction and the Boleyns like I am, I would definitely add this to your collection. If it weren’t for the fact that my bookshelves are already overflowing, I’d get it myself.