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To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (Ladies in Waiting, #1)
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To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (Ladies in Waiting #1)

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,766 ratings  ·  195 reviews
To Die For is a Library Journal "Best Books of 2011" pick.


What would you sacrifice for your best friend?
Would you die for her?


Meg Wyatt has been Anne Boleyn's closest friend since they grew up together on neighboring manors in Kent. So when twenty-five-year-old Anne's star begins to ascend, of course she takes Meg along for the ride.

Life in the court of Henry VIII is thril...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Howard Books (first published February 18th 2011)
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The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa GregoryThe Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison WeirThe Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa GregoryThe Constant Princess by Philippa GregoryThe Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory
Best Books About Tudor England
71st out of 394 books — 1,132 voters
She Walks in Beauty by Siri MitchellThe Healer's Apprentice by Melanie DickersonA Tailor-Made Bride by Karen WitemeyerCourting Morrow Little by Laura FrantzHead in the Clouds by Karen Witemeyer
Best Christian Fiction Book Covers
85th out of 708 books — 619 voters


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Community Reviews

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Jane
Original review 10/1/11

Where I got the book: purchased on Kindle.

This book was recommended to me by another author, as an example of how an author can portray a historical character from the point of view of a friend. This technique, and the Christian angle, are what set Byrd's book apart from the many kings-and-queens novels written about the Tudor era--Philippa Gregory is the inevitable example of the narrower point of view.

The shifting of the POV means that the author can stay true to the Chr...more
Serena Chase
Prior to reading To Die For my knowledge of the Tudor period of English history was pretty much limited to two specific, yet unrelated sources: a DVD rental of The Other Boleyn Girl, and the much less historically relevant rendition of "I'm Henry the VIII, I am! Henry the Eighth I am, I am." sung by Patrick Swayze in the film Ghost. But other than recalling that the second verse is, in fact, the same as the first -- and that ScarJo and NatPort wore some pretty dresses (and also discarded them qu...more
Amanda
Yes, another Anne Boleyn novel. They seem to be coming off an assembly line. Mistress Bolyen has been explored so much lately in popular fiction, TV and nonfiction lately that I'm getting a little sick of her. Not only is Anne being overused, but so is Henry VIII and his entire Tudor court. Sure, it's hard to not enjoy the soap opera-like life of Henry VIII with his six wives and countless mistresses, but really- enough already!

This was exactly what I was thinking when I saw To Die For. How cou...more
Katie
First posted on my blog, Legacy of a Writer.

Beautiful. Heartbreaking.

Those are two words that came to mind when I closed the book after reading the last chapter. Wow, what a beautifully tragic story To Die For is! I'd read, briefly, about the Boleyn sisters and, like many others, thought they were two scheming women who seduced the king to get the crown. But Sandra Byrd shows us that oftentimes, there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. ;-)

Through the eyes of Meg, Ann Boleyn dearest fri...more
Orsolya
Everyone knows the fate of Anne Boleyn. However, few know the story from the viewpoint of Anne’s childhood friend: Meg Wyatt (sister of Thomas Wyatt, known for being a speculated paramour of Anne’s). Sandra Byrd takes this creative angle of Anne in “To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn”.

“To Die For” caused instant weariness due to the genealogical tables firmly asserting that Mary Boleyn’s offspring were sired by Henry VIII. Although this may be a minor detail to some; such a deliverance of specul...more
Joanna Johnson
Having personally read many historical fiction and non-fiction I can normally tell if I will enjoy a book within a few pages, this book however differed in that it started so promisingly. Perhaps if I had know beforehand that the writer was a christain writer I would have known better what to expect and whilst I have read numerous books where the characters have discovered themselves through renewed faith for the most part the author used it as a way of focusing the reader on the plot and charac...more
Lucy
I ought to have learned my lesson by now, really. If I see a "Tudor" historical fiction whose cover features headless ladies with an impressive amount of square-necked cleavage, walk away. Still, I have a thing for Anne Boleyn. So many people have different ideas about her, and I'm always curious about whether authors are going to be pro or against, despite the historical facts, which lead me feel comfortable with ambivalence.

So I borrowed To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn despite the unsettlin...more
Margaret
I've been excited about Sandra Byrd's Ladies in Waiting series for a long time and kept meaning to pick up the book, but life just kept getting in the way. I wanted to be able to really read it and give it justice in attention. I knew Sandra to be a contemporary author and though I have not read her contemporary novels I was intrigued to read her historicals and now having stayed up late into the night finishing her first in the Ladies in Waiting series I realize I have sorely missed out and I'm...more
Rio (Lynne)
I probably would not have read this, had it not been in my view at the library. I am well versed with Anne Boleyn (as she is my favorite of Henry's Wives) but I felt like there wasn't anything new for me to read about her. In this story, the author brings a fresh angle with the friendship of Anne and Meg Wyatt. They did grow up together and there is some proof that Meg was with Anne during these years. The author brings us a fictional story about Meg, but admits in her author's notes how she tri...more
Brenda
To Die For is the first book in the new Ladies in Waiting series by Sandra Byrd. I don't usually read a lot of historical fiction. I generally like to stick with the pretend stuff, like you'll find in speculative fiction. But Sandra Byrd is one of my favorite authors, and I love her novels (I haven't read her YA books, so I can't comment on those, but I adore her adult novels). Before I get to anything else, though, can I just take a minute to point out how gorgeous this cover is? It's definitel...more
Renee
Every so often a book is written that completely overcomes all expectations you have for a genre. To Die For by Sandra Byrd is that novel. Not only does it bring to the forefront issues of faith but loyalty and the importance of sisterly affection between friends in a way that males you forget you're reading fiction. Fans of Tudor England and the life of Anne Boleyn will love this story regardless if they like Christian fiction or not. Byrd deftly ties in the faith of the characters with the his...more
Natalie Grueninger
Sandra Byrd’s ‘To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn’ was the only ‘Tudor comfort’ I allowed myself on a recent family vacation and boy am I glad I took this treasure along!

It is the story of Anne Boleyn told through the eyes of her friend and confidante, Meg Wyatt but Meg is much more than just a narrator. She is a complex and engaging character with her own intriguing story to tell and I found myself drawn to her from the first page.

Through Meg, the Anne that emerges is a remarkable woman, witty...more
Elysium
3.5 stars

Meg Wyatt grew up as a neighbor to Anne Boleyn and the two were best friends since childhood. When Anne is sent to court in the service of the king’s sister, Meg is married off to an elderly baron while her heart belongs to Will Ogilvy who chooses priesthood over her.
But when Anne starts to rise at court, Meg joins her as one of Anne’s ladies and finds herself in the middle of court intrigue.

I really liked the idea of telling the story from the point of view of Anne’s friend and it wa...more
Angelc
3.5 Stars

Perhaps there is such a thing as too much Anne Boleyn. Having read other books about Anne, I felt like a lot of this book was a rehash of a story I already knew.

One thing that was new about this version was something that I liked a lot. The author portrayed Anne as human, not a manipulative monster. The Anne we've read about before probably wouldn't have even been capable of having a real friend, let alone one so nice as Meg. Anne is still a force to be reckoned with, but we get to see...more
Anne Osterlund
Meg is a member of the “newly hatched” aristocracy in Tudor England. She has an abusive father, an untrustworthy brother, and a former suitor who feels called to the priesthood. In an era when women have neither the right to work for a living, nor marry without the aid of a substantial dowry, her life, in short, is on tenterhooks.

Except for her friendship with Anne Boleyn. Anne, herself, is far from the established elite. But when the king of England expresses an interest, Anne embraces the oppo...more
Sam
Of all the perceptions regarding historical figures, the views on Anne Boleyn are arguably the most polarized. Thoughts on her range from a feminist model of the time to a harlot. Unfortunately, most authors take the simple route and describe her as a seductress enchanting the king, taking no notice of her acts of charity and other more positive characteristics.

So after a while, weary from the inaccurate portrayals of Anne Boleyn, I stopped reading Tudor novels altogether. When I first heard of...more
Christy English
I loved this vision of Anne Boleyn, but I loved even more the character of Meg, who stands by her friend through the best and worst times of her life. A fresh look at the Tudor court, the Reformation in England, and Anne Boleyn herself. This is a good one.
Dina Sleiman
I’ve found that there are two sorts of historical novels. Some use history as the setting, others use it as the story itself. Sandra Byrd’s new novel, To Die For, is an excellent example of the second type and sheds new light on a well-beloved historical event. If you love stories of Anne Boelyn, Henry VIII, Tudor England, the protestant reformation, or even Queen Elizabeth, you don’t want to miss this book. It dives deep into the historical details of King Henry’s court, giving a thorough under...more
Cheryl Olson
“Hank the V-I-I-I put poor Katie by and married young Ann Boleyn who tried to please but she soon went wrong by singing her song all out of key, it was his masterpiece”. Well, these are the lyrics to a ditty that kept humming through my head from my Jr. High concert in 8th grade as I read this story about the ill-fated 2nd wife of King Henry the VIII. Admittedly the lyrics from this song were a bit on the corny side, with some “ hey nonny, nonny” type lines thrown in for good measure, but I ass...more
Kylie Cheung
This is the most highly recommended novel of Anne Boleyn for a good reason -- being written just in 2010 unlike timeless, but, unfortunately, outdated Jean Plaidy novels, all of its facts are up to date. "To Die For" by Sandra Byrd reads like an elegant, engrossing story, but has all of the fact of a biography. I believe the author wrote that much of the scholarly research of Anne Boleyn's most iconic biographer, Eric Ives, was presented in the novel. The book's only fictional side is its teller...more
Christy
Sandra Byrd has been on my favorite authors list since I read her first adult novel back in 2008--Let Them Eat Cake. Ever since then, her books have become ones that I pick up immediately without a second thought because I know they will be that good. To Die For was no exception, and now that Sandra has made this transition into the world of Christian historical fiction, I have no idea how she'll ever be able to choose between writing it or contemporary fiction in the future!

So, with all that s...more
Carly
Before I launch into this book review, I need to go ahead and admit that with my limited writing abilities, there is no way I will be able to do this book justice. I honestly wasn’t sure if I would like this story or not, but there were two reasons I wanted to read it. First of all, I love Sandra Byrd’s books. I read her entire French Twist series and it has remained one of my favorite fiction series. Also, I wanted to read this book because my roots go back to northern England. In fact my dad w...more
Eileen
I like to read historical fiction, but I haven't read a lot about the Tudor period and Henry VIII. Over all the story was interesting with many detailed descriptions, good developed characters and I guess it gives a good impression of the lives of women that lived in that specific period of time. The pacing of the story was too slow for me and I thought the story to be too religious for my tastes. The endless talks about religious topics bored me. For people that think about reading this one, I...more
Whitney
To Die For
Sandra Byrd
Historical Fiction
5 out of 5


I am a huge fan of historical fiction, but I’m also a very picky reader. When I first picked up To Die For I was very skeptical. I have read several of Sandra Byrd’s contemporary fiction books and enjoyed them. I just wasn’t sure about how she would do with this new genre. I am happy to report that Sandra blew me away.


The story of Anne Boleyn has been told by numerous authors over the years. Most of those pieces of work center on the downright taw...more
Bookworm
About:
Best friends Meg Wyatt and Anne Boleyn grew up together in Kent. When Anne is sent to live at King Henry VIII's Court, Meg follows soon after.
Meg herself lived a difficult life at home, her father having been a harsh man and often beating her. She falls in love with Will Ogilvy, but when he is sent off to become a priest, her heart is shattered.
Not before long, Meg's father arranges a marriage for her, to a man who is decades older and whom she could never possibly love.
Life at court is...more
Melanie
What would you sacrifice for your best friend? Would you die for her?

Meg Wyatt has been Anne Boleyn's best friend since they were girls growing up on neighboring manors in Kent. And it's no surprise that when Anne's status starts to rise, she takes Meg along for the ride.

Attending court, attention from the king, it all seems glamorous at first, but then it turns deadly.

I really enjoyed 'To Die For'. There was a lot of history, even though this was a fictitious tale. Much of the stuff that was m...more
Faye
I have heard so many beautiful things about this book, I knew that I had to read it. To Die For is in my mind the perfect Historical novel. Rich in detail, and characters, this book was nearly impossible to put down yet at the same time I want to just sit back and enjoy it.




Meg Wyatt is the faithful friend to Anne Boleyn, the 2nd wife of Henry VIII, and the mother of one of England's most memorable monarchs, Queen Elizabeth. To Die For chronicles the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn to power and bac...more
Virginia


"To Die For" was such good book!! I have always been interested in the Tudor history but I've never really had a chance to read a book based on their history. To be honest I didn't know what the story would have in store for me. I'm so glad to have read it!


Sandra Byrd is very talented with bringing history to life. The characterization in the story was very amazing. I really loved how she gave life to thecharacters who lived so long ago.


I really admired the character Meg,a handmaiden and frien...more
Cynthia Haggard
The trouble for the writer, of writing yet another book about Anne Boleyn, is that it is yet another book about Anne Boleyn and consequently the bar is set formidably high for success. I am sure Ms. Byrd believed she had hit upon the winning formula when she plucked Meg Wyatt from obscurity to become the narrator of her novel TO DIE FOR: A NOVEL OF ANNE BOLEYN. However, I don’t think she succeeded. In what follows, I am going to articulate what I think the problems were.

The main problem for me i...more
Michelle
I thoroughly enjoyed this rendition of what Anne Boleyn's life may have looked like during the time when Henry VIII reigned in English history. His loyalties suited himself, and I saw that coming even though I already knew how things would turn out.

Henry VIII did present in many ways as a narcissist and that was portrayed well in this novel. He was convincing when it suited him, though, and I loved how the author showed how sincerely he believed his own lies. In the end he only hurt himself by...more
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¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 1 18 hours, 47 min ago  
Translation into Spanish, why not? 1 1 Jul 01, 2014 07:13PM  
Christian Histori...: Sandra Byrd's "To Die For" 5 20 Aug 19, 2011 07:32PM  
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After earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than forty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick for 2011 and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, wa...more
More about Sandra Byrd...
Let Them Eat Cake (French Twist #1) Bon Appetit (French Twist #2) The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr (Ladies in Waiting #2) Piece de Resistance (French Twist, #3) Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I (Ladies in Waiting #3)

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