Title: The Boleyn Deceit
Author: Laura Andersen. This is the sequel to her first novel, The Boleyn King.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Readers: At-home parent Colleen B., retiree Nancy, production coordinator Joanna, and editor Lori.
Summary: After presenting readers with an irresistible premise in The Boleyn King (what if Anne gave birth to a healthy royal boy who would grow up to rule England?) Laura Andersen returns in this deepening saga, into the dangerous world of the Tudor court, where secrets can bring down an empire, and even the strongest of monarchs may not be able to prevent history from repeating…
Our Take: This sequel continues to deliver a frothy re-imagining of English history for fans of Philippa Gregory. We look forward to the third book, coming next summer.
A continuation of Laura Andersen’s, The Boleyn King, I found her latest novel in the set, The Boleyn Deceit to be just as charming as the first. Based on the idea that William, the son of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn survived and is to become the king of England. This novel picks right up where the other left off and created just as much drama as before and then some.
There was plenty of scandal, romance, secret affairs, friendship, rivalry and backstabbing. Just like the first novel, this one was quite a fun read. It was left with quite a cliffhanger that left me wanting more. Can’t wait for the next one!
The Boleyn Deceit was Laura Andersen’s follow up to The Boleyn King however I did not enjoy it as much as the first one. The first problem was that as a continuation of the plot involving King William it picked up where the last novel left off, however it had been quite a while since I read the first one. Some of the past came back to me as I read but it took a while to put it all together again. For this reason alone, I would not recommend it as a stand alone novel.
The plot itself was the continuing story of the Catholics vs the Protestants of the 1500’s and the trials and tribulations of the royal family. Because their were so many different subplots, I found it hard to keep the characters and their roles straight. Unlike the first novel, I could have used a family tree for reference. And again at the end, the reader was left hanging with only the hope of a third novel to answer the questions left by the family.
These books must be compared to Philippa Gregory because they are so similar in background and storyline but I found them lacking in style and substance. If you are really a historical novel lover as I am, they are probably worth a few hours but more of a who dunnit than history.
The Boleyn Deceit is a re-imagining of English history in which Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn have produced a son who inherits the throne. One of William’s first orders of business as king is forming a strategic political alliance with France under the guise that a marital union between Protestant England and Catholic France would put all grievances between the two feuding countries to rest. But tongues soon start wagging when William foolishly and publicly lavishes his amorous attention onto his childhood friend Minuette instead of nurturing a relationship with his betrothed French bride, and England’s future peace and prosperity hangs in the balance. Little does William know that the object of his affections is secretly romantically involved with Dom, William’s most trusted adviser and best friend.
Oh hello, love triangle! The Boleyn Deceit has all the makings of a modern day soap opera, which is not to say that it’s bad or cheesy in any way. It’s actually deliciously fun and frothy and entertaining. This book, much like its predecessor The Boleyn King, sucks you in and the plot effortlessly zips along. Courtly gossip, romantic entanglements, political and social maneuvering, betrayal….it’s all here and it’s all juicy.
And where does Elizabeth fit into all of this? She’s strong and steely here, and carries herself like the royal we all know and admire. But it’s frustrating to see her cast in a more minor role while her brother makes one mistake after the next on center stage. The great astronomer John Dee prognosticates that Elizabeth has the “hand of a ruler….and the heart of the heir.” It will be interesting to see where the story takes Elizabeth from here. The ending, too, is something of a cliffhanger and leaves you hankering for the third and final installment of the series.
Again Laura Andersen gives us a nice light “historical fiction” based on her original premise that Anne Boleyn had a living son, and was not beheaded. In this book William is a king who no longer needs a regent but who is still surrounded by users, needers, and people with hidden and mixed motives. I enjoyed Minuette as the main narrator, and I enjoyed the love triangle. The mystery plot for me was so-so. I kept finding it hard to believe that Minuette would spend so much time trying to figure out the whys and wherefores of the death of someone like Alyce. I think it didn’t ring true because, although we learned that they were friends, we didn’t see much of that friendship prior to Alyce’s death in the first novel. Minuette is otherwise so focused on their little foursome (William, Dominic, Elizabeth, Minuette), that it wasn’t quite believable. However, other than that, the characters are full and well-drawn, I especially enjoy the character of Rochford. I would definitely put a third novel on my list (it seems like one must be intended), but I probably wouldn’t bump another book to get to a 3rd faster.