Author: Laura Andersen
Published: May 14th 2013 by Ballantine Books
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: 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.
I Give This ...
I was nervous to give this one a shot. I've never read a book that so blatantly changes history. But, my curiosity got the best of me. How could I not read a book were Anne Boleyn actually had a son who lived and never lost her life.
I really was not sure what to think of William at first. I imagined a boy who had a lot of the fire of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. But, I think he's true fire and personality is hidden beneath the fact that he is still under regency for most of the book. He's not truly governing and I think he's not sure how much influence and force he really has. But, by the end of the story I think we get a taste of what might be in store for us in the next book. He's got fight in him after all.
I found it deeply interesting that it seems that much of the events of history remain the same. It's almost like we've replaced King Edward with King William. Princess Mary still has far too much support from those who wish to bring England back to the Catholic faith. Her presence in the book feels extremely true to character. I love that Princess and Elizabeth is such good friends who her brother. I know I'm partial to this historical figure. But, I love the way she is portrayed in this novel.
I really enjoyed our fictional characters of Dominic and Minuette. Dominic is as loyal as them come and I look forward to see how he grows as a character throughout the series. Minuette has an interesting place in this book. You wouldn't think she would have such an intricate place at court. But you can't count her out. What remains to be seen is her relationships with Dominic and William. I think this is were we will find out how much of his father is in William.
An extremely interesting blend of complete fiction with real history. When I first picked up the novel, I had no indication that this would be a series. I was so glad to see it was, because there is definitely more to tell!