Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Tudors
I have received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When I saw this book in the Read Now section of NetGalley, I just had to get it! I am a sucker for a Tudor historical fiction, and I have been very interested in Young Adult historical fiction lately, it’s a subgenre I haven’t read much of, but I really like it!This is the story of the fall of Anne Boleyn, told by the point of view of Kate Carey, daughter of Anne Boleyn’s sister, Mary. Raised in the countryside by her mom and her stepfather, Kate dreams of going to court with her aunt, the Queen of England, her image so full of glamour and majesty. When she finally gets the chance to do that, Kate finds herself immersed in the political drama and all the gossip of court, a labyrinth of fake smiles, strict rules and secretive plots.
This book was very entertaining! Kate starts out as an innocent, very spoiled and angsty girl who resents her mother for having re-married low and not be living at court with her glamorous aunt. As the book goes on, she matures quickly, as the court demands that she turns from girl to a careful woman. I was mad sometimes at how innocent she was, but she was thirteen and living in the country, so I was not surprised by that at all. It felt to me that the other characters were done in a black-and-white manner, without as much complexity and grey character and I would expect from a Tudor story. Cromwell was basically a caricature villain and Anne Boleyn and sweet woman who wanted nothing else than to be loved by her husband. That I thought was too simplistic for a woman who was surely a victim of circumstances but I also believe was very intelligent and scheming – we didn’t get to see that side of her, really.
All in all, I really enjoyed the book! Kate is not a very common character to show so much in Tudor stories, so it was nice to see her side of the story. The story does get gruesome at some parts, as it builds tension.
Spoiler: Well, it’s history so I don’t know if it’s a spoiler, but… I wish the ending would have involved telling a little of what happens with Kate after the event of take place. She goes on to become a maid for Henry’s other wives and to Elizabeth, and she and her husband go on to have 14 kids! They fled to Germany when Mary was in power because they were protestants and came back once Elizabeth was in power and invited them back.