Acclaimed author and historian Alison Weir continues her epic Six Tudor Queens series with this third captivating novel, which brings to life Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII’s most cherished bride and mother of his only legitimate male heir.
Ever since she was a child, Jane has longed for a cloistered life as a nun. But her large noble family has other plans, and as an adult, Jane is invited to the King’s court to serve as lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine of Aragon. The devout Katherine shows kindness to all her ladies, almost like a second mother, which makes rumors of Henry’s lustful pursuit of Anne Boleyn—also lady-in-waiting to the queen—all the more shocking. For Jane, the betrayal triggers memories of a hauntingl incident that shaped her beliefs about marriage.
But once Henry disavows Katherine and secures Anne as his new queen—forever altering the religious landscape of England—he turns his eye to another: Jane herself. Urged to return the King’s affection and earn favor for her family, Jane is drawn into a dangerous political game that pits her conscience against her desires. Can Jane be the one to give the King his long-sought-after son, or will she be cast aside like the women who came before her?
Bringing new insight to this compelling story, Alison Weir marries meticulous research with gripping historical fiction to re-create the dramas and intrigues of the most renowned court in English history. At its center is a loving and compassionate woman who captures the heart of a king, and whose life will hang in the balance for it.
Praise for Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obsession
“A stunning, engaging, comprehensive and convincing novel . . . important, page-turning biographical fiction, hauntingly and beautifully told in first-person narrative . . . psychologically penetrating and packed with wonderful, vivid scenes. [Alison] Weir’s characterisation is superb.”—Historical Novels Review
“A persuasive attempt to restore the humanity of a tragic, misrepresented figure . . . Weir’s fictional Anne is ferociously smart and guilty of nothing but craving the power that’s rightfully hers to claim.”—NPR
“A richly detailed rendering of the familiar Tudor drama . . . Weir brings considerable expertise to her portrait of Anne as ‘a flawed but very human heroine, a woman of great ambition, idealism and courage’ [and] vividly depicts court life.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A multifaceted portrait of an ambitious woman . . . Even readers who know Anne’s story well should gain insights from this revealing novel.”—Booklist
“Well-written and fast-paced . . . a fresh look at one of the period’s most popular protagonists.”—Library Journal
I could not believe when I was approved for this title. Alison Weir is one of my favorite author. I was so excited I just about squealed when I got the book. I couldn’t wait to get to read it (I read the book in the order I am accepted for them so that is why they may seem in odd placements. Anyway, I love historical fiction and the Tudor era is my favorite.
This books is number three (3) in her Six Tudor Queens series. I haven’t read the first two (2) yet, because I have been busy reading other books, but I know enough about how Alison Weir writes and about the era that I could easily follow along. Plus, Alison Weir writes her books well enough you can pick them up at any point and read it and still follow along with them without too much problem figuring out the back story.
Getting to the book. This book is based on Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII third wife and the only one that produce a son for him. For which she tragically dies afterward. You start while Queen Katherine is still reigning as Queen and go through Anne Boleyn rising in power and then Anne Boleyn’s fall from reign. You can see how different Jane and Anne are. In my honest opinion, Anne was a woman before her time. She wanted equal rule as Henry had and in that time that was not accepted. Anne was well learned and knew her opinion. The one thing she lacked was how to get her way without arguments and shrewish behavior. Something that Jane excelled at. Jane knew how to get her way by making Henry think he was the one that thought of it. This is how women would get their way in this time era, or at least the smart women did. Jane managed to reconcile Henry and his daughters not by arguing and “stamping her feet” but by careful conversation and suggestions. Jane Seymour was a wonderful queen and well deserving of the praise and love given to her.
She was the only one of King Henry’s wives to give him a son. I agree with Alison Weir’s determination of how Jane died. Though we will truly never know for certain due to the lack of medical knowledge back then but I completely agree with how Alison Weir thinks Jane died. Trust me, I honestly wanted to cry throughout the end of the book cause I knew what was gonna happen. In my opinion, Katherine (first wife) & Jane (third wife) were the only ones that truly loved the king. All the others were more after what they could gain from the marriage. Again this is my opinion.
Do you need to read this book??? A well rounded yell of YES! If you like Tudor era historical fiction then you can not go wrong with Alison Weir. She writes books that are engaging and keep you enthralled even if you know the story already. Even her non-fiction books are enjoyable to read and that says a lot cause I dislike non-fiction books. This honestly deserves more then five stars, more like ten in my opinion.
I received this book from Net Galley for this review.