Info: PB, Historical fiction, 416 pages, a few weeks
Synopsis: The regency period is over and William Tudor, now King Henry IX, sits alone on the throne. But England must still contend with those who doubt his legitimacy, both in faraway lands and within his own family. To diffuse tensions and appease the Catholics, William is betrothed to a young princess from France, but still he has eyes for only his childhood friend Minuette, and court tongues are wagging.
Even more scandalous—and dangerous, if discovered—is that Minuette’s heart and soul belong to Dominic, William’s best friend and trusted advisor. Minuette must walk a delicate balance between her two suitors, unable to confide in anyone, not even her friend Elizabeth, William’s sister, who must contend with her own cleaved heart. In this irresistible tale, the secrets that everyone keeps are enough to change the course of an empire.
First Impressions: I AM SO READY FOR THIS BOOK. I love love love the covers in this trilogy and just looking at them sends me off to Tudor gown doll makers to play like a child. I still have no clue which of the covers I love best.
Why I Chose This Book: I fell in love with Boleyn King and couldn’t wait to read the next one. Unfortunately, it took getting the last in the trilogy to kick my butt into gear. I reread Boleyn King while on a flight so I could remember all that happens.
What I Liked: So much! Dominic and Minuette are adorable and steamy together, so I loved when their perspectives came up, especially when they were together. In this book, you really see Dom struggling to keep the composure he’s become known for. And Minuette dives headfirst into court intrigue, which winds up with her in over her head. In the next book, I’m looking forward to seeing if she learns to swim, if someone dives in to save her, or if she drowns. (Did I stretch that metaphor too much? I can be a metawhore at times.)
One thing I really love about this series is that it’s not just romance, but also politics and court plots, and history. Laura Anderson does such a great job of weaving real life events into her alternative history that it’s difficult to see where the line of reality sits. She does so much research and you can really see that in her writing. I love love love learning about the Tudor family and books like this fuel that fire so much! (I actually just looked to see if I could take any history classes about the time period – and I am one class-hating girl.) I understand the politics of this time so much more than today, so it’s fun to delve into a world where I feel a bit more sure-footed.
What I Didn’t Like: I felt like we didn’t get to see enough of William’s growing love for Minuette from his perspective, so I ended up feeling like he was more antagonist than anything. I still love him, but since the romance between Dom and Min were forefront, it was frustrating to see a character I love pulled between two characters I love and end up hating one. Not a fun ride. I also wanted to see so much more of Elizabeth, as she’s such a strong character and has the best capacity to be a ruler (obvs). I hope in the next book we get more of Will and Elizabeth, and see how she takes the crown, if she does at all.
Ratings and Recommendations: Great for fans of Tudor set books, Carolyn Meyer, Phillipa Gregory, older fans of the Young Royals or Royal Diaries series. Contains multiple perspectives, politics, love triangle.
Final Thoughts: This book had me asking my boyfriend for a closet full of gem-encrusted gowns. I can’t wait to read the next one, and I hope to see more of the two royals in the Holy Quartet.
Let me know if you’ve read any of these books, if you plan on adding them to your TBR, or if you wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot lance (ha! see what I did there?).