Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What I've Been Reading

I got two books for Christmas: both Tudor related. The Boleyn King and At Home with Henry VIII His life, his wives, his palaces.

I finished The Boleyn King yesterday. This is an alternate or re-imagined history. What if Anne Boleyn did not  miscarry in 1536? What if she had given birth to a healthy son? What if Henry had never married wives three through six (Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Katherine Parr.)

I love alternate histories:
George Bailey seeing how Bedford Falls transformed into Potterville in It's A Wonderful Life
Helen's life changes based on whether she catches a specific train in Sliding Doors
Worf shifting through alternate universes in Parallels, an episode of Star Trek The Next Generation.

I even liked Mr. Destiny: Jim Belushi hits a home run instead of striking out in a baseball game and his whole future changes. (Unfortunately, this movie is ruined by a ridiculous revenge car chase scene.)

I was predisposed to like The Boleyn King, but I was disappointed.

First, Anne is just a minor character in the book. That's not a fault necessarily, but was a negative for me.

More importantly, the book is more a stereotypical romance novel than a historical novel. The main character Minuette is almost a Mary Sue. Two other major characters (plus a secondary character) fall madly in love with her. She's so alluring they can barely control their ardor.

A probable murder occurs in Chapter Three; I figured out the killer at the same time. (My suspicion is seemingly confirmed in the last chapter.) Usually I'm not that quick: to me that's a sign of a poor plot point.

Perhaps the worst thing is that nothing is resolved in the book. The last line indicates that conspiracies are only beginning. Ah, the author wrote a trilogy named The Boleyn Trilogy, and she's started a second, The Tudor Legacy. Was the lack of resolution just a ploy to see more books?

Overall, a great idea, a quick read, but a disappointment.

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