Author: Alison Weir
Series Number: 2
Publication Date: May 18, 2017
Genres: Historical Fiction
Where I received the book: I received a copy of this book from Hachette NZ to review.
Summary: A novel filled with new insights into the story of Henry VIII’s second—and most infamous—wife, Anne Boleyn. The second book in the epic Six Tudor Queens series, from the acclaimed historian and bestselling author of Katherine of Aragon.
It is the spring of 1527. Henry VIII has come to Hever Castle in Kent to pay court to Anne Boleyn. He is desperate to have her. For this mirror of female perfection he will set aside his Queen and all Cardinal Wolsey’s plans for a dynastic French marriage.
Anne Boleyn is not so sure. She loathes Wolsey for breaking her betrothal to the Earl of Northumberland’s son, Harry Percy, whom she had loved. She does not welcome the King’s advances; she knows that she can never give him her heart.
But hers is an opportunist family. And whether Anne is willing or not, they will risk it all to see their daughter on the throne…
i’m not going to lie, i had a lot of mixed feelings about this book. i think the biggest issue i had with this book was how katherine was demonised (which is kind of understandable, seeing as this story is being told from anne’s pov). in doing this, it made me dislike anne boleyn. i’m not really a big tudor fan. i can’t stand henry viii. reading katherine of aragon: the true queen showed me a side of katherine that i didn’t know. through reading the first book, i went on to do my own research, which was extremely interesting and enlightening.
but i didn’t feel the same when reading about anne. instead, it made me hate her even more. i’m not saying katherine was some kind of saint (i mean, i haven’t done that much research into her so i wouldn’t know), but damn i can’t stand anne. no matter how many fictional books that try to glorify her, i still resent the bitch.
and don’t get me started on that ass of a man, henry. i actually kind of liked him in the true queen. like, towards the beginning, before all the anne stuff. he’s such a possessive, controlling ass.
as for the plot, much like the true queen, the king’s obsession dragged on, and on. it took me forever to read. at some point, i was counting the pages, willing it to end faster. i’m not sure if it’s the author’s writing style or what, but the king’s obsession (like the true queen) read a lot like a historical-biography thing rather than a historical fiction book. it went into all these tiny little details of anne’s life, even the ones that had no relation to the plot. although, i suppose the all round plot(/idea) of the series is their lives … it was just really boring. there was no need for this book to be 500+ pages.
i have no idea how historically accurate this book is, but i’ve been informed by hachette nz that alison weir is “one of the uk’s top historians”. although, just because someone is well known doesn’t mean they’re accurate. based on the amount of work that she’s done, i can assume that alison weir knows what she’s talking about.
if you like history, then this book is for you. if you don’t like history, then you probably should stay away. it reads too much like a biography and not enough like a fiction novel. in saying this, it was very insightful to the english court (ps, the french court is better).