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text 2018-01-16 21:45
Reading progress update: I've read 15%.
Three Maids for a Crown: A Novel of the Grey Sisters - Ella March Chase

I'm giving this book another chapter before I decide whether or not to keep reading. This author clearly subscribes to the theory that the Duke and Duchess of Suffolk were horrid people who didn't love any of their children. That much was made obvious three sentences in. No need to continue to beat the reader over the head with it. 

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text 2017-02-13 02:23
Reading progress update: I've read 257 out of 384 pages.
Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey - Nicola Tallis

The Fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge: the innocent Lady must suffer for her Father's fault; for if her Father the Duke of Suffolk, had not this second time made shipwreck of his loyalty, his Daughter perhaps had never tasted the salt-waters of the Queen's displeasure.


-If I stop reading, she will live right? Like that episode of Friends where Joey puts Little Women in the freezer so Beth won't die? 

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review 2014-07-07 15:24
Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle
Sisters of Treason - Elizabeth Fremantle

With her latest novel, Sisters of Treason, Elizabeth Fremantle joins the ranks of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir as one of my favorite authors of historical fiction. Fans of Tudor fiction are undoubtedly familiar with the tragic tale of Lady Jane Grey. In Sisters of Treason, Fremantle tells the equally gripping tale of Jane's sisters, Lady Catherine and Lady Mary Grey, as they navigate the stormy waters of the early days of Mary Tudor's turbulent rule. Sisters of Treason is a beautifully written, utterly fascinating historical novel that belongs on any Tudor buff's to-read list.

Disclaimer: This book has been provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2013-11-05 22:08
The Boleyn Deceit
The Boleyn Deceit - Laura Andersen

The Boleyn Deceit: A Novel - Laura Andersen 


What if Anne Boleyn had produced a male heir to the Tudor throne?  The thought is fascinating to ponder, so I was eager to dive into The Boleyn Deceit, generously provided by NetGalley for review.


I found The Boleyn Deceit quite enjoyable, but it was clear at times that the author was referencing characters and events in the previous work, The Boleyn King, and without having read the first book, I was left feeling a little fuzzy on the details.  Being a sequel, I found it a little difficult to sort out who was on which side and the timeline of events in this alternate Tudor history.  The reader definitely needs knowledge of the previous book to help lay the groundwork.  Fans of book one will undoubtedly enjoy this sequel, as will anyone who enjoys playing 'what-if' with history, but I would recommend that a reader start with book one for the optimum reading experience.



Disclaimer: This book has been provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2009-12-21 00:00
Wolf Hall
Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1) - Hilary Mantel

I have never read anything by Mantel before. In fact, I was somewhat disinclined to pick up this book, especially since it beat out The Children's Book. Philippa Gregory tries to adjust the picture of Mary Boleyn (whose reputation in the historical record is as a loose woman). Gregory takes it too far; Mary is more sinned against than sinning and is so stupid that you want to smack her. Mantel does not do this. Showing us Cromwell's cold exterior makes Cromwell more human. Writing the story in present tense allows the reader to see the history as it happens as opposed to a historical fan fiction that some writers create.


Mantel does not just set out to save Cromwell, but she does something for Mary Boleyn as well. She presents Mary as a slut, but a sympathetic one with spirit. It was nice.Some critics have taken issue with the way that Mantel presents SIR THOMAS MORE. To them I ask, "Have you read any biographies about the dude?" or his Utopia?  Mantel nails More.It is true that some of the children, minor characters, are not well drawn and sometimes the reader gets confused. Thankfully, there is a player's guide in the front of the book.


In terms of Anne Boleyn, Mantel does a good job. The book is concerned about Henry's desire to divorce Katherine and marry Anne. Of the three in that triangle, Henry and Anne are the ones with the most screen time. While Anne is petty, Cromwell likes her. She is not totally demonized here. It is also important to note a beautiful scene of Cromwell watching Henry and Anne read a letter together. Wonderful.Henry VIII and Queen (or Princess Dowager) Katherine are more shadowy, but this somehow seems fitting. Considering the King's ability to imitate a weathervane in terms of friendship, this is hardy surprising.


I can see why this won the Booker.

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