I was intrigued by the fact that this novel offered an alternative history. It was sort of a ‘what if’ novel. What if Anne Boleyn was able to give King Henry VIII a son? Premise sounds good right? Would the Tudor era have went differently if that would have happened.
But having not read the previous books in the series, I was lost. It was like picking up a map and receiving only half of the directions but you're still expected to get to your destination and rather than being at the waterpark you find yourself in the middle of a cow pasture.
Opening the book, the characters were already established and sadly, I had really no clue as to who they were and why they were affecting the other characters in the way that they were because little to no backstory is given.
The king William is the fictional son of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII. Apparently, he recovered from a bout of smallpox only to discover that the commoner he was in love with Minuette has married his favorite courtier, Dominic. He’s crushed and soon learns that those who he believed he could trust is betraying him.
William eventually grows power crazy and paranoid as things start to crumble around him.
The writing was intriguing, but I felt as though information dumps such as making a point to tell readers who Henry VIII’s favorite painter was, bogged down the flow of the novel. I would have much rather have a mini recap of the previous books than info dumps that had no bearing on the story.
While I know that this is an alternative history, the author needed to do a little fact checking regarding the actual history that she chose to include because some her facts were wrong.
Overall, this is one book that readers must read the previous books to fully appreciate.
Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir! 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?) and returning to the dangerous world of the Tudor court in The Boleyn Deceit, Laura Andersen brings to a triumphant conclusion the enthralling tale of the Tudor king who never was.
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?