Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Historical Fiction Virtual Tours Book Review: The Boleyn Bride

Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Kensington Publishing
Paperback; 272p
ISBN-10: 0758273363
From carefree young woman to disillusioned bride, the dazzling lady who would become mother and grandmother to two of history’s most infamous queens, has a fascinating story all her own…
At sixteen, Elizabeth Howard envisions a glorious life for herself as lady-in-waiting to the future queen, Catherine of Aragon. But when she is forced to marry Thomas Boleyn, a wealthy commoner, Elizabeth is left to stagnate in the countryside while her detested husband pursues his ambitions. There, she raises golden girl Mary, moody George, and ugly duckling Anne–while staving off boredom with a string of admirers. Until Henry VIII takes the throne…
When Thomas finally brings his highborn wife to London, Elizabeth indulges in lavish diversions and dalliances–and catches the lusty king’s eye. But those who enjoy Henry’s fickle favor must also guard against his wrath. For while her husband’s machinations bring Elizabeth and her children to the pinnacle of power, the distance to the scaffold is but a short one–and the Boleyn family’s fortune may be turning.


“Recommended for readers who can’t get enough of the Tudors and have devoured all of Philippa Gregory’s books.” –Library Journal on The Boleyn Wife
“Purdy wonderfully reimagines the behind-the-scenes lives of the two sisters.” –Historical Novel Reviews on The Tudor Throne


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Review: Most of the time, when you read about the Boleyn family, you think you are reading about the more famous members, Ann and Mary, both who caught the attention of Henry VIII.

Brandy Purdy is one of my favorite authors when it comes to the Tudor period, and this is the last book in her series on these royals.

This book feature's Anne's mother. Elizabeth. So we see the story we all know through a totally different light. Yes, it is one that's been told before, but not from Brandy's pen, and her pen always delights. After reading one of her books, I always feel like I've been back in time. I prefer her writing style to Phillipa Gregory, because Brandy's writing feels more personal, and that's the case here as well.

Elizabeth Howard Boleyn is not a character you can really warm too. She's not a good mother and she's a bit of a tart, but as the story goes on, you feel sorry for her, even though she's actually got a pretty decent life. Her love affair with a doll maker spans her life. Remy is more of a husband to her than Thomas Boleyn, and anyhow, he is a nasty man.

How anyone could care more for power than his own children baffles me.

I wish I could have come away from this novel feeling sorry for Anne, because her mom didn't really care for her until she changed from an ugly duckling to a beautiful black swan, but I still found myself saying Team Catherine of Aragon.

I was really surprised that Elizabeth was in fact good friends with the first of Henry's wives.

Then there was her son, George. I was really intrigued by him and his relationship with Anne and how it affected his marriage and ultimately his life.

If you can't get enough Tudor fiction, you must give this book a try.

Rating:  5 flowers


Brandy Purdy (Emily Purdy in the UK) is the author of the historical novels THE CONFESSION OF PIERS GAVESTON, THE BOLEYN WIFE (THE TUDOR WIFE), THE TUDOR THRONE (MARY & ELIZABETH), THE QUEEN’S PLEASURE (A COURT AFFAIR), and THE QUEEN’S RIVALS (THE FALLEN QUEEN). An ardent book lover since early childhood, she first became interested in history at the age of nine or ten years old when she read a book of ghost stories which contained a chapter about Anne Boleyn haunting the Tower of London. Visit her website at www.brandypurdy.com, you can also follow her, and her cat Tabby, via her blog athttp://brandypurdy.blogspot.com where she posts updates about her work and weekly book reviews.


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