From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Picking up immediately after where trilogy opener The Boleyn King (2013) left off, this speculative foray into Tudor England resumes Andersen's plausible reimagining of an England ruled by young King Henry IX, aka William, son of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Bolstered by the unshakable loyalties of his sister; his confidante, Dominic; and his childhood friend, Minuette, William faces further entangling intrigues as he juggles an impending, politically motivated betrothal to a 10-year-old Catholic French princess, betrayals and possibly even treason by some at court, and the reckless depth of feelings he has for Minuette. Dominic and Minuette continue their love affair, resolutely hiding it from everyone, but especially from William, whose reaction would likely be a monstrous personal hurt or even a kingly decrying. Elizabeth struggles with the realization that she can never marry for love and also with the possibility that she might grace the throne herself as queen. Minuette draws danger closer to her as she insists on investigating a death from the series opener that haunts her still, despite escalating warnings to back off. Dominic battles with his loyalty to his king and his attraction to the one woman the king wants. Detailed and quick paced, this will have series fans devouring it and emerging eager for the final book. An excellent recommendation for Phillipa Gregory fans.--Trevelyan, Julie Copyright 2010 Booklist
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The second part of a trilogy that began with The Boleyn King, this entertaining work of alternative history offers plenty to savor for both fans of historical romance and those whose passion is political intrigue. The premise: rather than leaving Henry VIII without a male heir, thereby permitting Elizabeth to ascend the throne, Anne Boleyn actually bore Henry a son, named William, who, at the novel's opening, has recently become king. William has also been promised in marriage to the much younger princess of France, a move calculated to appease England's Catholics. Secretly, however, William hopes to marry Minuette, Elizabeth's confidante who has been raised alongside the Boleyn children. Romantic complications-Minuette's heart belongs to William's closest friend, Dominic-arise alongside political scandal, as Minuette researches the cause of the bloody events that closed the previous title in the series and William struggles to retain control of the throne, despite those who would challenge the authority of the young but self-assured Protestant king. Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory and Allison Weir, Andersen's novel admirably takes artistic license with history while remaining true to many aspects of real-world history. The romance plot builds gradually, while the political one comes to a more rapid (and, for those who have not read the first volume, perhaps confusing) head-but both seem to foreshadow a mesmerizing conclusion to the trilogy. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.