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The Boleyn Inheritance
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THREE WOMEN WHO SHARE ONE FATE: THE BOLEYN INHERITANCE

ANNE OF CLEVES

She runs from her tiny country, her hateful mother, and her abusive brother to a throne whose last three occupants are dead. King Henry VIII, her new husband, instantly dislikes her. Without friends, family, or even an understanding of the language being spoken around her, she must literally save her neck in a court ruled by a deadly game of politics and the terror of an unpredictable and vengeful king. Her Boleyn Inheritance: accusations and false witnesses.

KATHERINE HOWARD

She catches the king's eye within moments of arriving at court, setting in motion the dreadful machine of politics, intrigue, and treason that she does not understand. She only knows that she is beautiful, that men desire her, that she is young and in love -- but not with the diseased old man who made her queen, beds her night after night, and killed her cousin Anne. Her Boleyn Inheritance: the threat of the axe.

JANE ROCHFORD

She is the Boleyn girl whose testimony sent her husband and sister-in-law to their deaths. She is the trusted friend of two threatened queens, the perfectly loyal spy for her uncle, the Duke of Norfolk, and a canny survivor in the murderous court of a most dangerous king. Throughout Europe, her name is a byword for malice, jealousy, and twisted lust. Her Boleyn Inheritance: a fortune and a title, in exchange for her soul.

The Boleyn Inheritance is a novel drawn tight as a lute string about a court ruled by the gallows and three women whose positions brought them wealth, admiration, and power as well as deceit, betrayal, and terror. Once again, Philippa Gregory has brought a vanished world to life -- the whisper of a silk skirt on a stone stair, the yellow glow of candlelight illuminating a hastily written note, the murmurs of the crowd gathering on Tower Green below the newly built scaffold. In The Boleyn Inheritance Gregory is at her intelligent and page-turning best.

Customer Reviews:

  • Loved it!
    What more can one say? Great historical information. Felt like I was really there. Wow, being royalty in those days wasn't exactly an advantage!...more info
  • Great story - a must read for fans of royal fiction
    This is a great book that combines fact and fiction to make a wonderful story. Be sure to read "The Other Boleyn Girl" first before reading this book though....more info
  • Mediocre fluff
    Phillipa Gregory is a mediocre writer. For whatever reason, she's had great commercial success as a writer of historical fiction. However, I am usually disappointed in her books. This one was no exception. The first half was dreadful. It was repetitive and trite. The second half was much better though - hence the 3 star rating.

    This novel is about the 4th and 5th wives of Henry VIII. It is told in the first person with the narrative shifting in each chapter between Anne of Cleves (#4, a younger sister of the Duke of Cleves), Katherine Howard (#5, an impoverished much younger cousin of the ill-fated Anne Boleyn and niece of the powerful Duke of Norfolk), and Jane Boleyn (the mentally unbalanced wife of Anne's brother George - the one who gave the testimony which Henry relied on to have Anne and George beheaded for incest).

    Gregory does a great job in giving a reader the sense of terror that Henry's wives felt when they could not win his favor. I think she created an interesting picture of the sycophantic court and clearly showed that Henry was severely disturbed and had an innacurate sense of self. Gregory really pounded home (really really pounded home) the reminder that Henry was fat, flatulent, and had a festering wound on his leg. Really, I can't tell you how many descriptions the various characters gave of Henry's stink. She also did an ok job with characterizing Katherine Howard. Katherine was presented as flighty and an unapolagetic teenage floozy. The final execution scene was really sad - Katherine was a ditz who really did not ask to mary Henry and did as she was told. I felt for her. I think her characterization of Jane Boleyn was good too. Gregory did a good job of conveying her self-importance and her delusions about the role she played in her sister-in-law and husband's downfall. I also think her portrayal of Anne of Cleves was plausible, explaining why she would have married Henry and why she was willing to agree that she was precontracted. However, Anne was a boring character and I didn't really care much about her.

    I thought that Rose Without a Thorn was a better portrayal of Katherine Howard. I can't really think of a better one about Anne of Cleves - I haven't read anything about her before. I'm sure there is something else out there. The novel, simply put, is not well written. I like my historical fiction to be more about politics rather than scandal. I couldn't really relate to any of the three women. ...more info
  • One of my favorite books!
    Absolutely enjoyed this book. Picked it out at the library just to read something different. Fell in love with it! "The Other Boleyn Girl" movie came out while I was reading this book. I read "The Other Boleyn Girl" and enjoyed it even more! I am currently reading "The Constant Princess". I read the trilogy backwards, but it didn't make a difference! I recommend Philippa Gregory to EVERYONE! You WILL NOT regret purchasing this book! GO FOR IT!...more info
  • Absolutely horrible
    I like reading historical fiction because it gives the facts and creates a story around it. It's normally easy to read in the sense it's not dry like most regular history books. This book started off well, and when I wasn't reading about Lady Jane Rochford, the book was easy to read and enjoyable. The chapters that were in Lady Jane Rochford's voice, however, were so off base it was impossible to read. The writer made Lady Rochford sound innocent and nice, rather than the vindictive and malicious woman she was. It would have been easier to read if she hadn't been portrayed as pure as she had been portrayed. She may not have been as malicious as some people believe, but she wasn't guiltless when you consider her testimony sent her husband and his sister to their deaths....more info
  • One of the most insightful and beautiful reads I've had so far this year!
    Henry VIII, especially the many intrigues surrounding politics and religion during his reign, not to mention his six wives, has always fascinated me. There is so much material that can be covered during and after his time as king of England that hundreds of books, novels and quite a few films and television series (including the latest on Showtime, The Tudors) have been created. And why not? His life was like a giant real-life soap opera. I read Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl years ago, and I hadn't read any of her books centered on the Tudor dynasty ever since. The Wideacre trilogy was a great read (except for the third and last book), but I hadn't picked anything of hers ever since, and that was about two or three years ago. I recently picked up The Boleyn Inheritance, not knowing what to expect. This is one of the best historical novels set against Henry's reign I have read in a long time.

    Katherine of Aragon dies a lonely and undignified death after Henry divorces her, Anne Boleyn is beheaded for supposedly committing adultery, and Jane Seymour passes away shortly after giving birth to a son. Now it is time for Henry to take another wife. With France and Spain plotting against England, an alliance with the Cleves is necessary. And so, here enters Anne of Cleves. After enduring a power-hungry, abusive brother, Anne sees her marriage to King Henry as a ticket way out of her insufferable life at home. She imagines King Henry as he once was -- handsome and charming to the ladies. Instead, she gets an aging, overweight, angry bear of a man who rejects her after she publically humiliates him. He wants a divorce; she wants to remain the queen of England. Yet she knows what would happen to her if she dares to defy the man who has sent three women to an early grave. Her only option is to return back home to her abusive brother, ruined. But she can't let that happen. What will she do? Meanwhile, it appears that one of her ladies-in-waiting has gotten the king's attention. Katherine Howard is young, beautiful and flirty. She is also wise and sensual beyond her fourteen years. She loves to attract the attention of young men and think she is simply humoring a piggy-eyed old man when she flirts with the king. So imagine her life as King Henry's wife. This is all seen through the eyes of Jane Boleyn, Lady Richford. She is back in court after she made the testimony that destroyed both her late husband George and her sister-in-law. Now, under the Duke of Norfolk's demand, she must spy on Anne and Katherine. It appears that Anne Boleyn has left a legacy of tragedy and betrayal not only to her family, but also to all of England.

    This is a riveting read. Historians/anglophiles will probably find that this novel isn't very innovating. I for one thought it was fascinating. It's beautifully written, the first-person POV from all three protagonists are clear and well put-together. You never get them confused. Jane Boleyn is the most interesting one of the three. A woman whose testimony sent her husband and sister-in-law to the block, she wasn't likable at all in The Other Boleyn Girl, but it was never clear to me (at least not in the real-life events) whether she'd done it from her free will or if she'd been forced to make the testimony. This novel implies that she had indeed been persuaded into making that choice. As for Gregory's characterization, I appreciate the fact that Katherine Howard is depicted as na?ve and flighty in this novel. She is what I imagine most fourteen-year-old are like, vain and silly, which makes it especially jarring for me to know that Henry would marry a child. Then again, what could be expected from someone such as he? And also, they married them young in those times. It's like they were forced to go from children to adults at once. Out of all of his wives, with the exception of Katherine of Aragon, I think that Katherine Howard's demise is the saddest. I could understand why she'd want to be with men her own age and not with one old enough to be her father or even her grandfather. Philippa Gregory humanizes these three women in more ways than one. I enjoyed The Boleyn Inheritance and I look forward to reading Gregory's other books set in the Tudor era. I've already got The Constant Princess lined up....more info
  • Stunning and charged.
    Phillipa Gregory does it again with this novel. The Boleyn Inheritance is a striking tale of the least known wives of Henry the VIII, Anne of Cleves and Katherine Howard. We also meet Jane Boleyn known mostly in history only for her part in seeing her husband George and her sister-in-law Anne go to the scaffolding. We follow the tale from Cleves when Anne is being selected, right on up to the scaffolding and eventually the Kings death, and the whole book will hold you spell bound.

    I could hardly set this one down, and yet at parts I had to. It is so descriptive and so heart breaking you will cry for the way these women are terribly caught up in this court. Henry VIII truly was a mad man bent on his own whims, his own desires and no one ever dared tell him no, for if they did they could, and would end up dead. Watch as the body counts of those sent to the scaffold tally higher, for small crimes like simply loving a girl. And those who are the true masterminds of the plots get away from the axe man like a slippery snake in the grass.

    You will shake your head at how stupid and frivolous young Katherine is as a Queen. And yet you will feel utterly horrified for her in the end she was really only a child of 16 years who could not possibly know right from wrong when she only ever did was she was told. I believe in the end the only one I did not feel sorry for was Jane Boleyn, to me she made her own bed. Through pure jealousy, ambition and self preservation, in the end she got what was coming. Though preferably no one should have died because of the whims of a selfish King, who thought he was a god. If you haven't read this book yet, do. You will be emotionally grabbed and riveted to each and every page....more info
  • This is up to her usual standard of a great read
    This is up to her usual standard of a great read. I love each and every book she writes. ...more info
  • Historical Fiction
    Nicely written follow-up to The Other Boleyn Girl. Interesting insight into the lives of relatively unknown women. The narrative style of all three women's stories added another dimension to their personalities. Very enjoyable and left me wanting more....more info
  • My favorite Philippa Gregory book so far
    I absolutely LOVE this book! Gregory brilliantly navigates between Henry VIII's 4th wife, Anne of Cleves, his 5th wife, Katherine Howard (she was just a teenager!), and Lady Rochford, whose testimony on her husband, George Boleyn, sent him to the block. The Tudor history comes alive in Gregory's talented writing -- each chapter in their unique voice and character. When I finished the book, I count my blessing that I wasn't living during such horrific period in history where your daily life was filled with constant fear, not because of anything you did, but simply because someone didn't like you. Out of the three women, only one comes out alive. My only complaint about this book is that it's smaller than the other Gregory's books I bought and the print wasn't very good - some pages were faded. But the novel more than made up for it; otherwise, I'd give it a four star....more info
  • Another can't put down from Philippa Gregory!
    While not as excellent as The Other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance is a darn great read! It has intrigue, romance, murder, lust, betrayal, suspense, humor, irony....I read this 500 page book in 5 days, it kept me reading late at night. (Not something I do often with a toddler who wears me out during the day!) There wasn't a boring page through the entire thing- the 3 main characters Queen Anne, Queen Katherine and Jane Boleyn are not to be forgotten. Each are intriguing in their own way and their stories pull you in. Even if you aren't very familiar with this period in time, like myself, you can still enjoy this book because the author does a good job at setting the background, filling in information and giving you tidbits of knowledge. The author's attention to detail is superb. Gregory does it again!! ...more info
  • The Axeman Cometh!!!
    The timing for my reading of this book was perfect as The Tudors, Season 3, is presently being aired on TV and it covers the same period in history as The Boleyn Inheritance does. Henry's beloved wife Jane Seymour has just died as a result of childbirth and he is encouraged to take another wife.

    So begins this 6th Philippa Gregory book dealing with the life and many wives of King Henry VIII. This last book in the series takes on his marriages to Ann of Cleves and Katherine Howard. If your memory of what happened with these two wives is scarce, it's probably better because the book then becomes that much more of a page turner. I stayed up until 2:30AM finishing it because I simply could not put it down. I had to know what was going to happen before I went to sleep. With a book like this, it probably wasn't the best idea because it only leads to dreams of The Tower and the "axe". I say this is the last book in the series but I do not know this definitely because there is still one more wife, Katherine Parr, so perhaps Gregory is going to take us into that marriage as well.

    This book has three different narrators and each mini chapter is told from their individual voices. We first meet Ann of Cleves as she is hoping to get chosen as Henry's 4th wife. Then there's Katherine Howard, who is hoping to go to court serving the new Queen. Lastly there's Lady Rochford, better known as Jane Boleyn. It was she who was married to Ann Boleyn's brother George and it was her testimony alone that sent him to the scaffold.

    I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book. Gregory intersperses her own dose of fiction into the already written history about these years in Henry's life. When you think of the time in history you yourself are born into, you can't help but think "thank God I wasn't born in England during this period". It was such a time of turbulence with an unstable tyrant of a King. I can't even fathom it and, more to the point, I can't even fathom wanting to be his Queen.

    I guess there's two ways to read this series....either chronologically or the order in which Gregory wrote them. I chose the latter starting with The Other Boleyn Girl and ending with The Boleyn Inheritance. As it turns out, the first and last books written ended up being my two favorites. I guess an argument could be made for reading them either way but I'm happy I did it the way I did. There's nothing better than beginning and ending a series with two "great" books.

    So I encourage any lover of historical fiction to read this book. You won't be disappointed....more info
  • Great series
    The Boleyn Inheritance was an excellent read. This book was one of my favorites in the series. It is written in a narrative-type format by 3 different women. This format kept me very interested. It made the differences and similarities between the 3 women really stand out because you could view events from 3 different sets of eyes. ...more info
  • Another great Philippa Gregory novel
    This novel sucked me in from the beginning and did not let go - all three women were relatable and I desperately had to find out what would happen with each of their lives.

    This is the first novel by Gregory that I have read where she tells the story from more than one perspective. In this case, it was very effective as the reader essentially got to hear the same story told by three different women who lived it, yet their roles were so drastically different from each others'. What struck me most about these women was how utterly helpless they all were to control anything about their lives. Every single decision was made for them, and even the very strong-willed among them - such as Anne of Cleves, who did everything in her power to be her own woman and make her own decisions - were completely controlled by the men around them. And especially in the court of King Henry VIII, women had no hope. They could do exactly as was expected of them, be perfect little angels who listened to the men in charge and do exactly as they were told, and the king would still find some reason to put them to death, or if they were lucky, exile. As much of a horrible person Jane Rochford was, and as much of a "slut" Katherine Howard was, I simply found myself feeling so sorry for them. They had no choice in any of their actions. It was actually kind of heartbreaking to read about, especially regarding Jane, who honestly felt like she was doing the best she could for her family, yet was being manipulated by her uncle and suffered an awful fate for it.

    I loved this book, and I will be continuing to read Philippa Gregory's work until I've finished it all (and hopefully by then, she'll have written more!). It was a fabulous book to kick off 2009, and I highly recommend The Boleyn Inheritance....more info
  • Even Knowing the Outcome, I couldn't Put It Down!!!
    I really liked 'The Other Boleyn Girl', but I LOVED 'The Boleyn Inheritance'! I read this every chance I got, and finished it in about a week, which is no small task since I also have a 15 month old running around.

    I think what really made this book so enjoyable for me was Anne of Cleves. She had all the grace and class that Jane and Katharine were lacking. Ms. Gregory did an outstanding job with the very different voices of each woman.

    Painting Jane as an almost sympathetic character, yet also very mentally ill. Katharine as the silly, young, clueless girl thrust into the heavy shoes of a Queen. And Anne, far wiser then her 24 years, who was the only woman to survive a marriage to Henry VIII.

    Just as with her previous Boleyn novel, much of this was fabricated. She says herself at the end how little is actually known of Henry's fourth and fifth wives, but the gist of the story is true. What these three women endured in the horribly frightening latter days of Henry's reign was all too real, and this story as she tells it was an absolute pleasure to read. I will definitely be picking up some of her older novels as I just love her ability to absolutely capture your complete attention with her stories.
    ...more info
  • Love it!
    I really enjoyed reading this book. Its got the essentials: romance, drama, murder and mystery. It kept me at the edge of my seat. I recommend to read this just after The Other Boleyn Girl (its like the second part of that book)....more info
  • A skilfully-woven story of family, deceit, divided loyalties and ill-fortune that binds three women together. BCM
    The Boleyn Inheritance is a marvellous story! The characters are so full of life and are superbly detailed. The story has a wonderful flow and the plot twists make you love the book all the more. I felt such a strong sense of loyalty to the new Queen Anne of Cleves and I very much wanted her to succeed on the throne. I was also very intrigued by the beautiful young and naive Katherine who was too immature and dense to realize that she was being manipulated by her betters, to influence and manoeuvre the king to their advantage. Jane is perhaps the most fascinating character in this novel because of the mysteriousness of her past and her absolute determination to rise in importance. She seems to live in a somewhat warped reality, no doubt caused by trauma of her husband's death, for treason. The plot is very intriguing and I enjoyed all the stealthy manoeuvring and arrogance of many of the characters in this story; all vying for attention, riches and importance in a kingdom run by the overbearing tyrant, King Henry. The three main characters in this story are bound together by their connection to the throne of England. Anne, Katherine and Jane all have their duties to see to and family titles to enrich through their skillful work and scheming determination. One woman must spy on the new Queen. Another is involved in a plot to draw the kings attention away from the Queen, to herself. And one woman wants nothing more then to be a good queen to her people and have a happy, peaceful home and kingdom to live in. Either through marriage or blood, they are all a part of the Boleyn family.
    This entertaining story will pull you in and satisfy your cravings for some mystery and romance, while stuffing you to bursting point with the scandalous delights and terrors of the Royal court.
    I very highly recommend this book!!

    (10 out of 10 Diamonds) - Absolutely LOVED it!!


    ? 2008-2009 Bobbie Crawford-McCoy (Book Reviews By Bobbie).
    All rights reserved.
    ...more info
  • A Thinking Woman's Smutty Guilty Pleasure
    murder. love. traitors. kings. queens. beheadings. beauty. riches. wives. fortunes. kingdoms. servants. fancy dresses. horses. dark corridors. jewels. portraits. ladies in waiting. affairs. countries to lead. wars to fight. history to be made.

    good stuff....more info
  • The Boleyn Inheritance!
    This book sucks you into history to the dangerous court of Henry the 8th. Gregory does a fantastic job portraying the 3 girls Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, and Jane Boleyn. It is well researched and I could read it again and again and again....more info
  • Boleyn Inheritance - stunning sequel
    The Boleyn Inheritance picks up where The Other Boleyn Girl left off: Anne Boleyn and her brother George have been beheaded as traitors, Jane Seymour has died in childbirth, and King Henry is searching for his fourth wife. The story is told from the alternating points of view of three women central to this period in English history: Anne of Cleves, the unlucky fourth wife whom Henry despises almost from first sight; Katherine Howard, a maid to the queen who is almost as witless as she is beautiful, and Jane Boleyn, who sent her husband and sister-in-law to the gallows on the order of her uncle, whose scheming service she finds herself in once again. These three women struggle to survive in a court that can bless its favored with riches one minute and condemn them as traitors the next, each one longing to be free of the men who seek to control them, each doing whatever is necessary to survive.

    Gregory's books aren't for children - there's a fair amount of sex and sexual innuendo in them - but if schools taught history like this, we'd all have aced it. ...more info
  • Couldn't put it down!
    I loved this book. It was one of those books where you can't wait to get home from work, change clothes, kick off your shoes and curl up on the sofa and continue reading.

    Very interesting and superbly written. I loved the way the book went back and forth between characters....it kept me incredibly interested, I hated to see it end.

    If you're a new fan, such as myself, to anything Tudor, I ultimately recommend this book. You'll learn a lot....more info
  • Not to the Same Standard
    I feel as though this book was written as a sort of afterthought. All the other books in this "series" are based on a single woman, which offers increased involvement in the story. Meanwhile this book lacks the same plot development and time spent on the characters, as there are two wives who share the book along with at least two other major characters. This book could definitely be written more satisfyingly as two individual novels.

    You definitely don't want to read these books out of chronological order; you just won't get the same richness out of them. Gregory's phenomenal skills with character development is lost without the background from each previous book.

    For reference, the order to read these books is:
    The Constant Princess
    The Other Boleyn Girl
    The Boleyn Inheritance
    The Queen's Fool
    The Virgin's Lover
    ...more info
  • Great Follow up to The Other Boleyn Girl
    Having just finished The Other Boleyn Girl I immediately picked up The Boleyn Inheritance. I wasn't disappointed with this one either, I couldn't put it down. I finished it in 2 weeks (which is great time for me with my busy schedule).

    At first I was a little confused with the three different narrators, but after I learned the way they spoke and a little about their personalities it made the novel all that much more interesting. It also makes it more interesting because you see the story from different sides. Another great novel from Philippa Gregory!
    ...more info
  • a good read
    This is the second book I have read by Philippa Gregory. When I finished the first book, The Other Boleyn..., I immediately went to Amazon and purchased this book. Although it is basically fiction, the way Gregory intertwines fact, when the courts moved about England, and fiction, any dialog, is wonderful. If you have any interest in the wives of Henry VIII, I highly recommend this book, and possibly any other she writes! ...more info
  • Entertaining...
    I really enjoyed this book as much as the Other Boleyn Girl. This is a great read!...more info
  • Another great read by Gregory
    Although I didn't like this novel as much as I liked her Wideacre series and The Other Boleyn Girl it was still a great read. I really like how she split the book among three characters, but told the same sequence of events from their point of views. I didn't want to give it a five, however, because I felt that the book was a bit hurried and glossed over a lot of events and character development. The book could/should have been longer, but it was a great read nonetheless....more info
  • A Good Follow Up to "The Other Boleyn Girl"
    Philippa Gregory's "The Boleyn Inheritance" picks up three years after the end of "The Other Boleyn Girl", Gregory's blockbuster novel about Anne Boleyn and her sister Mary. Many of the characters from the earlier novel make a return appearance here, but the story is told from a different perspective--with three narrators, Anne of Cleaves, Kitty Howard, and Jane Boleyn. These three narrators give a very different perspective on Henry VIII's court than is seen in the earlier novel, although all three women are subject to Henry's rapidly changing temper. The court is now one of fear instead of the golden court of the earlier novel, and everyone has to watch her back to keep from getting caught up in the Boleyn Inheritance. As first Anne, and then Kitty become Queen and then quickly fall, the treachery of the English court is explored with all of Gregory's usual detail and intrigue.

    Although I don't think this book was as good as "The Other Boleyn Girl" or "The Virgin's Lover" it is definitely a strong addition to Gregory's "Boleyn" series. The novel is a fast paced and easy read, and it keeps moving to keep the reader interested. I wished frequently that Gregory would have spent more time getting into the head of each of her characters--sometimes the chapters felt a little rushed. But overall I did feel like this was an enjoyable read that captured the spirit of the Tudor period and life at court.

    I would recommend this book to fans of the Tudor period or people who enjoyed Gregory's other works. ...more info
  • Great Gregory Book!
    Every book of Gregory's that I read always keeps me entertained and wanting for more! When I finish one, I cannot wait to pick up the next. Great book. ...more info
  • wriiten for a simpleton
    This book could easily be edited down to 1/4 of it's length. It is extraordinarily boring, slow moving and deeply repetitive. I do not have amnesia nor am i a simpleton. I do not need to be reminded of mundane details every 3 or 4 pages. I kept reading this book only to see if anything was every actually going to happen. I was sorely disappointed. ...more info
  • A Servere Letdown
    This book moved sooooo slowly. it was nothing at all like the other boleyn girl. In this book, jane boleyn was a innocent, remorseful widow, Anne of cleves was confused all the time and katherine was an idiot.Im not finished with it yet but so far this sucks!...more info
  • Fanastic Reading!
    I have read the Boleyn books by Philippa Gregory and found this one to be just as interesting as The Other Boleyn Sister and The Constant Princess (which I love). This one focuses on three different women, two queens and one woman who waited on both of them. The characters are all different from one another and makes for a great juicy story. I am not familiar with these women during the later years of Henry's life, so I am not reading this to get an accurate sense of the history piece. I read this for entertainment and perhaps get my curiousity piqued, which it did.

    I think of all the characters in this book, Anne is my favorite. She is the only wife to have survive Henry's wrath (besides Katherine Parr, who just merely survived Henry's death). She was raised in a strict Protestant home by a strict mother and a loving father. Her brother arranged for her to marry Henry, and their marriage really was made for political reasons. In spite of Henry's aversion to her, he treated her well, even though she ended her life alone without children ten years after he had died. She used her head throughout the tumultous reign of Henry and the reader can sense the fear, hopes and sadness of this woman.

    The next person is Kitty Howard, a young pawn in the Duke of Norfolk's hands as he greedily schemes for power to put the next Howard/Boleyn child on the throne. Kitty in this book is a vain and not very smart woman, more concerned with getting "presents" and being surrounded by handsome men, beautiful things and laughter. She really is a child and it is hard not to feel sympathy for this character because she is young and silly and a very weak pawn in the game of chess her uncle was playing with the future of England at sake.

    And Lady Jane. I wish I had the copy of The Other Boleyn Sister on hand so I could go back and refer to it again. I have to think that this woman is the most deluded character of this book. She betrayed her husband and her sister-in-law out of jealousy. She watched them die and she managed to escape from death by the graces of her uncle, the same Duke of Norfolk. Sent to court to help Anne of Cleve, she also betrayed her by saying that the queen's marriage was not valid since she was precontracted before. (To Anne's credit, she didn't deny it even though it meant a lonely life for her without a spouse or children. However, in comparison to the other queens, it was worth it.) Lady Jane then tries to lure Kitty down the path of destruction by arranging Kitty to meet with Thomas, her lover in hopes that Kitty will get pregnant and that child will be the future king of England, thus restoring the Boleyn/Howard lineage to royalty. Lady Jane really is a pathetic character who is also repulsive.

    I am currently watching that popular Showtime series, "The Tudors" and this book is fueling my interest in the Tudor family again. It isn't hard to imagine Henry getting older, fatter and more insane. It is a fascinating look into the royals of that time ... but it is also sad to realize, that things have not really changed all that much since then.

    This is an excellent read and a wonderful insight to two queens that I know nothing about. It is an excellent insight to human nature as a novelist can provide. This is a wonderful rainy day book. If you like historical fiction, you will like this one. The stories are interwoven and easily followable. It is just a fanastic book!...more info
  • Loved narrative from all 3 women's view points!
    I have read other books by this author, and I really like her writing style. I especially liked how this book was a little different in that it told the story from the point of view of 3 different women. Talk about putting yourself in someone elses shoes! It was very entertaining seeing inside the mind set of THREE of the characters in King Henry's court!...more info