Friday, November 20, 2009

The Boleyn Inheritance

Phillipa Gregory

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.

My Take:

Philippa Gregory, to me, is one of those authors that can pretty much do no wrong. I didn't love this book as much as The Other Boleyn Girl, but it is definitely fabulous. The characters, as usual, are extraordinarily vivid. The present tense style of writing isn't my favorite, but you get used to it after a while. I enjoyed the fact that this story follows 3 different women, and reveals all of their inner thoughts, as opposed to only letting us in on one persons thoughts. The general feeling of foreboding will swirl around in your mind for days after you finish reading. Resonance is one of the key things I look for in a book, did I keep thinking about it after I finished it? Or did I forget all about it as soon as I closed the book? This one keeps you thinking. What if someone had done something differently, would the king not have had them executed? If I was in her position, would I have done the same things? This is the sign of a good book, in my opinion. I am going to give this book a 3, find a used book store. It was difficult to choose between a 2 and a 3, but I ultimately decided on a 3, because I gave the Other Boleyn Girl a 2, and they just aren't in the same class.

Do you agree with my review? Or do you think I'm totally off base? Either way I'd love to hear from you. Be sure to leave a comment and tell me how you feel!

If you like The Boleyn Inheritance, you definitely need to check out The Other Boleyn Girl, also by Philippa Gregory.

You might also enjoy Abundance, a story of Marie Antoinette, or The Perfect Royal Mistress, a funny book about a very funny lady, who also happens to be the mistress, and love of a king's life.

If you are looking for more Historical Fiction, find all titles here.

Looking for more romance, check out my Romance section!

If this book were a movie, it wold likely be rated PG-13 for sexual content.

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