February 11, 2015

Series Speed Date: Round #7

This section will cover any key details about the series.

The Boleyn Trilogy by Laura Andersen
Released: May 2013 | November 2013 | July 2014
Publisher: Random House | Ballantine
Pages: 358 pages | 416 pages | 416 pages

What do these covers say about this series?

Personally, I really like these covers! I love that the look is consistent across all three covers with the dress, hands and object. I think the dresses are eye-catching, but that's partly because I adore costume dramas and historical clothing. The objects displayed on the covers are significant to the story inside, which was a nice surprise. Even before Kelly pushed these books, I was curious about them from the covers alone!

Based on the summary, what can you expect going into this series?


I love historical fiction, but I don't know if I've ever read anything that presents an alternate version of history. So, I loved the idea of a series meant to answer this question: "What if Anne Boleyn had given Henry VIII the son he so desperately wanted?" I'm not a Tudor aficionado, but who hasn't been a bit curious about this infamous king and his many wives? Based on the summary, I knew I'd meet some familiar characters (Mary and Elizabeth Tudor, for example). But I could tell there'd also be lots of new faces: Henry IX, known as William, his best friend Dominic and the young orphan girl, Minuette, who has been raised as a royal ward of Queen Anne Boleyn. So, I couldn't wait to see how everything would play out in this new version of history! The summary for The Boleyn King promises secrets, betrayal, murder and romantic obsession - things you'll find in all three of these books. 

What are some highlights of the series?

Four best friends - two of royal birth and two promised to serve them.
An alternate version of history where Anne Boleyn lives... and produces a son.
A young King, new to the throne and ruling a country in crisis.
A wise princess showing a gift for leadership and a desire to rule.
A loyal friend who provides wise counsel but keeps a dangerous secret.
A kind and enchanting young woman who wins the hearts of all who know her.
A fight for the future of a country threatened on all sides.
A deadly betrayal with far-reaching consequences.
A tale of power, political intrigue and romantic obsession.
An intriguing look at destiny and fate.

How will you feel closing the last page?

Of the three books in this series, I think the third is my least favorite. I'd grown a little tired of the secrets being kept, and at that point I was beyond ready to see what would happen when they all came to light. There's a lot of drama in this final installment - and I was worried what would happen to my two favorite characters. I disliked the way one character's personality experienced a significant shift in this book. I wanted a more nuanced portrayal of this character rather than (basically) making him into the villain. And since I was never a huge fan of Minuette in this series, so I was mostly reading to see what happened to everyone else. It didn't play out quite like I hoped it would, but I'm glad I saw it through. The most intriguing part to me was seeing how everything came full circle! I love the idea that certain things in history would play out the same either way.

Summing up this series in just three words?

Power. Politics. Passion.

Is this series worth your time?

If you love the Tudors, absolutely! I have a feeling that this series will work best for readers who are very familiar with what actually happened in history so that they can compare it to this alternate version. But what about for a reader like me? Well, I enjoyed these books. I binge read the series and though it was intriguing and imaginative. The characters were never my favorite, and I found a few things either annoying or somewhat implausible, but I enjoyed these books overall. I don't see myself re-reading them because they weren't favorites for me, but they were a great escape and an exciting look at a past that might have been.

2 comments:

  1. I have The Boleyn King, thanks to you and Kelly, and I definitely am looking forward to reading it! I do love the Tudors, and though I'd like to think I'm pretty well-versed, I'm pretty rusty in reality. Still, I'd love to see what Andersen does in her alternate version of things, and hopefully, I wind up liking it too!

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  2. I loved the idea of this series, but was a bit let down by the first book. It just didn't live up to the expectations I had for it at all. I would still like to eventually finish the series, although I'm guessing by the time that happens I'll need to refresh my memory of the first, since already I'm starting to forget it.

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