Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review - The Boleyn Reckoning (The Boleyn Trilogy #3) by Laura Andersen

The Boleyn Reckoning (The Boleyn Trilogy, #3)Title: The Boleyn Reckoning
Author: Laura Andersen
Series: 3rd (The Boleyn King, The Boleyn Deceit)
Pages: 416
Published: July 15th 2014 by Ballantine Books 
ISBN: 9780345534132
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Description: 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?  

I Give This ...

I've really enjoyed this series so far.  I love the play on "what if."  Considering that Queen Elizabeth I is one of my favorite people in history, I was also extremely curious how this would come full circle.

The author has done a fabulous job at creating a monarch that mimics so many of the characteristics of Henry VIII and Queen Anne.  I also see some of his sisters in him.  I thing his biggest flaw is what ultimately brought down his mother and lead to his father having so many wives.  He knew what he wanted and would stop at nothing to make sure he got it.  It got in the way of his friendships, his family, and in the end ... his kingdom.  Sad as it was, none of his actions surprised me.  I held my breath every time he flaunted Minuette in front of everybody.  I wish he could see how much she hated it.  As a person whose job basically demands that you be able to read people, he was horrible at it.

I loved Minuette throughout this.  She's playing a delicate game and one that she has to know might cost her everything.  She may not come right out and tell William how she really feels, but I think she does it in lots of subtle ways.  I was happy when she finally confided in Elizabeth.  It was slowing eating at her to keep such a huge secret.  I was kind of surprised at how Elizabeth reacted.  But, at this point I know she's setting up her chess pieces to win the game. 

The court is just as treacherous in the alternate reality as it was in history.  People still were tried for treason, just not the ones that I was expecting.  William never became the king destined to rule the kingdom in all its glory.  That right was reserved for Elizabeth.  I don't think she ever betrayed her brother.  She just played the hand better.  Perhaps Elizabeth was always meant to rule the Golden Age, no matter what reality you look at.

I absolutely loved this book from start to finish.  It was almost like this was how it really happened.  I laughed, I cried, but most of all I just enjoyed the ride to get there.  I'm looking forward to what Laura Andersen produces next!

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