Doomed Queen Anne by Carolyn Meyer

(Cover picture courtesy of Fictional Appearances By…)

Anne Boleyn was born without great beauty, wealth, or title, but she’s blossomed into a captivating young woman—and she knows it.  Determined to rise to the top, she uses her wiles to win the heart of England’s most powerful man, King Henry VIII.  Not satisfied with the King’s heart, however, she persuades Henry to defy everyone—including his own wife—to make her his new queen.

This engrossing novel tells Anne’s fascinating story in her own voice—from her life as an awkward girl to the dramatic moments leading up to her beheading.

I’ve always liked the story of Anne Boleyn, the woman whose ambition propelled her up to the greatest heights.  Unfortunately, the higher you rise, the farther you have to fall.  And, oh, did Anne Boleyn fall to the lowest of the low.

Doomed Queen Anne is the story of her rise and fall, told in journal form on the eve of her execution as she recounts the events that lead up to it.  It begins at her unhappy childhood and comes around full circle, which always adds a tinge of sadness to the narrative.  Carolyn Meyer is a masterful writer of historical fiction and sticks to the facts while telling this excellent story.  She shows that the women history has assigned bad reputations to weren’t really all that bad and were perfectly human, meaning they had flaws just like us.

I believe the best example of this is when she writes about Anne’s childhood as the ill-favoured daughter, overshadowed by her beautiful, dazzling older sister, Mary.  She was told she was ugly, but learned how to hide her flaws while emphasizing her better traits.  This well developed backstory is what makes her a memorable character that most readers will be able to sympathize with.

The plot of Doomed Queen Anne is reasonably well paced and the entire novel is historically accurate, as far as I can tell.  Carolyn Meyer is a very gifted writer and uses her talent to draw readers in to the backstabbing court of the Tudors and move the plot along to its inevitable, tragic conclusion.  I would recommend this book for people 12+ because there are brief scenes of sexuality, but nothing more than what you would encounter at most movies aimed at tweens.

I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

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