The Boleyn King (Paperback)

By Laura Andersen

Ballantine Books, 9780345534095, 368pp.

Publication Date: May 14, 2013

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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY RT BOOK REVIEWS

Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory, Alison Weir, and Showtime's The Tudors, The Boleyn King is the first book in an enthralling trilogy that dares to imagine: What if Anne Boleyn had actually given Henry VIII a son who grew up to be king?

Just seventeen years old, Henry IX, known as William, is a king bound by the restraints of the regency yet anxious to prove himself. With the French threatening battle and the Catholics sowing the seeds of rebellion at home, William trusts only three people: his older sister Elizabeth; his best friend and loyal counselor, Dominic; and Minuette, a young orphan raised as a royal ward by William's mother, Anne Boleyn.

Against a tide of secrets, betrayal, and murder, William finds himself fighting for the very soul of his kingdom. Then, when he and Dominic both fall in love with Minuette, romantic obsession looms over a new generation of Tudors. One among them will pay the price for a king's desire, as a shocking twist of fate changes England's fortunes forever.

Includes a preview of Laura Andersen's The Boleyn Deceit

Praise for The Boleyn King

"Imaginative . . . Andersen focuses on creating an exciting, action-driven plot containing strong doses of both intrigue and romance. Tudor-era historical fiction fans who are willing to accept the unusual premise will be rewarded with an original and entertaining read that's reminiscent of the best of Philippa Gregory."--Library Journal (starred review)

"Gripping . . . Andersen delves into an alternative Tudor England geared to rivet period fans and newcomers alike. . . . Perfect for Philippa Gregory fans."--Booklist (starred review)

"A surprising gem and a thoroughly enjoyable read."--Historical Novels Review

"Andersen's novel, alive with historical flair and drama, satisfies both curious and imaginative Tudor aficionados. . . . Her multidimensional characters are so real that readers will wish it was history and eagerly await the next in the trilogy."--RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)

"A wonderfully imaginative and well-written tale of intrigue, high court politics and desperate love."--Deseret News

" 'What if . . .' With these tantalizing words, Laura Andersen creates a fresh and vividly realized alternative world where Anne Boleyn not only lives, but also gives birth to a healthy son who will become King. With the introduction of Minuette, Princess Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting, we meet an extraordinary young woman who embodies love and loyalty, and who fights to find the humanity at the heart of the most glamorous--and dangerous--court in Europe."--Susan Elia MacNeal, author of Mr. Churchill's Secretary

"Full of intrigue, conspiracies, and the accurate details so essential to good historical fiction . . . Anyone who has even the slightest fascination with the Tudors will want to devour this delectable novel in a single sitting."--Tasha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of Death in the Floating City

Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more.


About the Author

Laura Andersen is married with four children, and possesses a constant sense of having forgotten something important. She has a BA in English (with an emphasis in British history), which she puts to use by reading everything she can lay her hands on.


Praise For The Boleyn King

Praise for The Boleyn King
 
“Imaginative . . . Andersen focuses on creating an exciting, action-driven plot containing strong doses of both intrigue and romance. Tudor-era historical fiction fans who are willing to accept the unusual premise will be rewarded with an original and entertaining read that’s reminiscent of the best of Philippa Gregory.”Library Journal (starred review)
 
“Gripping . . . Andersen delves into an alternative Tudor England geared to rivet period fans and newcomers alike. . . . Perfect for Philippa Gregory fans.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“A surprising gem and a thoroughly enjoyable read.”Historical Novels Review
 
“Andersen’s novel, alive with historical flair and drama, satisfies both curious and imaginative Tudor aficionados. . . . Her multidimensional characters are so real that readers will wish it was history and eagerly await the next in the trilogy.”RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
 
“A wonderfully imaginative and well-written tale of intrigue, high court politics and desperate love.”Deseret News
 
‘What if . . .’ With these tantalizing words, Laura Andersen creates a fresh and vividly realized alternative world where Anne Boleyn not only lives, but also gives birth to a healthy son who will become King. With the introduction of Minuette, Princess Elizabeth’s lady-in-waiting, we meet an extraordinary young woman who embodies love and loyalty, and who fights to find the humanity at the heart of the most glamorous—and dangerous—court in Europe.”—Susan Elia MacNeal, author of Mr. Churchill’s Secretary
 
“Full of intrigue, conspiracies, and the accurate details so essential to good historical fiction . . . Anyone who has even the slightest fascination with the Tudors will want to devour this delectable novel in a single sitting.”—Tasha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of Death in the Floating City
 
The Boleyn King deftly blends compelling characters, flawless social history, and courtly romance into an enthralling tale that’s impossible to put down.”—Stefanie Pintoff, Edgar Award–winning author of Secret of the White Rose
 
“A sumptuous, vividly imagined novel of a Boleyn king’s fateful rise to power amid the treacherous glamour of the Tudor court. A fantastic debut!”—C. W. Gortner, author of The Queen’s Vow
 
“A fascinating journey into what might have been, this novel of alternate history will keep you turning the pages and leave you hoping for a sequel.”—Kate Emerson, author of A Royal Inheritance
 
“Fans of both Stephenie Meyer and Philippa Gregory will find much to love in this evocative and well-written debut.”—Francine Mathews, author of Jack 1939
 
“Immensely addictive and twisty—kudos to Laura Andersen for her crafty plotting and rich characterizations. Deliciously scandalous and seductive, The Boleyn King delivers history and romance with equal passion.”—Becca Fitzpatrick, New York Times bestselling author of Hush, Hush
 
“From the intrigue of the Tudor court to the battlefields of France, you will be entranced by the power, emotion, and sweeping romance of this spellbinding novel. I loved it and can’t wait for the next book in the series!”—Syrie James, bestselling author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen
 
The Boleyn King is a riveting page-turner of a tale. I could not put it down. Laura Andersen’s splendidly imagined novel provides a fresh take on an era in history that’s been done to death. For historical fiction fans and Tudor aficionados, The Boleyn King is a must-read.”—Sherry Jones, author of Four Sisters, All Queens



Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

  1. If “History is written by the victors,” what do you think is the biggest impact of changing a story?
  2. William says, “I will be the best because I’ve earned it. I don’t need you to hand me my victories.” (page 12 ) Do you think this is true? Is William a self-made man? Does your opinion change of him by the end of the book?
  3. Why do you think their reputation within the court is so important to people like William and Elizabeth? Why are even conjecture and rumor dangerous? Do you think Minutte and Dominic feel the same way?
  4. William and Elizabeth are of royal parentage. Dominic is the son of a supposed traitor. Minuette is the daughter of a trusted servant and confidante. How much do you think parentage matters to these characters? Where does it affect them most in life? How have they each overcome the generation before them?
  5. The rift between Protestants and Catholics is a huge divide in The Boleyn King. Compare and contrast it to today’s societal divisions in America, such as Republicans and Democrats, or even between the suburbs and the city.
  6. In tweaking history for this story, the author opens up a world of possibilities. What historical event do you think would have the greatest impact if changed? What would that impact be?
  7. In the context of this story, what qualities do you think make for an ideal servant? An ideal ruler?
  8. In an age where social standing is of the utmost importance, what do you think is the most important reason for a person to be married? Why? Does your opinion change for royalty versus commoners?
  9. Do you think members of royalty can have friends? What about someone like a present-day world leader? Could you be friends with your boss, or your employees, the way William and Dominic are friends?
  10. Compare and contrast how each of the four main characters deal with the ideal of castle intrigue.
  11. What would be the most unnerving secret message that you could receive? In what manner?
  12. Compare and contrast what is deemed public in this novel versus what is deemed private. How does that compare to today’s Internet culture?
  13. What is said in letters in this novel versus what is said out loud? Which do you think has more impact? Which method of communication is more important to you?
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