The Boleyn King is the first novel in an enthralling new trilogy. Reimagining history in sumptuous detail, Laura Anderssen takes readers back to the deadly intrigue, turbulent affairs, and treacherous passions of Tudor England – and answers the compelling question What if Anne Boleyn had given Henry VIII the son he so desperately wanted?
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.
Heat Rating: 1
Review Rating: 5 Stars
Review by Lizzie English
Have you ever wondered how the world might have been had Anne Boleyn not miscarried her son? It would have lead to his succeeding Henry VIII and perhaps Anne Boleyn would have kept her head. The book starts on the day that Henry IX (call him William) is born and then jumps forward seventeen years. King Henry has been dead for almost a decade and Lord Rochford is protector over the kingdom until William becomes of age at eighteen. But now that William is close to coming of age, the past comes back to haunts him when a Lady In Waiting to his mother turns up dead.
The Anne Boleyn story line takes a back-burner after the first quarter of the story as it builds up with the growing relationships between Minuette, Dominic and William. Elizabeth plays some vital roles but does not have a large part in the story until later on the in the book once war with France starts. All three having known each other since childhood they are especially close and Minuette and William even share a birthday (A fact that only those four seem to remember.) The story develops as William slowly takes on the role of King, deciding his fate and deciding with whom who he wants to rule.
That’s when the ‘romance’ comes in the book. It’s really scarce in this one, but it’s still there. It’s an unknown love triangle. Both William and Dominic are in love with Minuette. Unfortunately, neither man shares that with each other until the worst possible time. Minuette seems to have her heart figured out but she flip flops between the two men most of the novel. Much to Elizabeth’s chagrin. In the second book I can see the love triangle taking centre stage rather than the battles with France and Spain.
Over all, the book was lovely and was nicely different to many of the Tudor Era novels that abound. Anne Boleyn is still thought to have seduced Henry with magic, but Elizabeth has a different character than you normally see because she has grown up with her mother. These little nuances are what makes the book for me, especially since Anne Boleyn has always been my favourite of Henry’s wives. It’s going to be interesting to see where this book takes us. Is William going to turn out more like his mother or father, or will his reign be more like those of his sisters? Will Elizabeth even be queen at the end of all of this? And what of Mary?