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The Boleyn King (The Boleyn Trilogy #1)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  3,187 Ratings  ·  675 Reviews
The Boleyn King is the first novel in an enthralling new trilogy. Reimagining history in sumptuous detail, Laura Anderssen takes readers back to the deadly intrigue, turbulent affairs, and treacherous passions of Tudor England - and answers the compelling question What if Anne Boleyn had given Henry VIII the son he so desperately wanted?

Just seventeen years old, Henry IX,
Paperback, 358 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Khanh (the Grinch)
Dear Anne Boleyn:

I'm so sorry for the way you died. I hated the way you were branded witch, whore, traitor; I shudder in horror at how you died, beheaded, reviled by a nation, betrayed by your own husband.

But man, the alternative if you had lived is so fucking dull.

After your death, you've been the subject and inspiration of many works of poetry, literature, films. You are now a legend, everything from the aforementioned witch, to temptress, to innocent woman caught in the middle of a vast web o
Apr 22, 2013 Erin rated it really liked it
Find the enhanced version of this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I admit, I had to gather my courage before diving into Laura Andersen's The Boleyn King. Devoted as I am to history, I find the concept of alternative fiction fascinating. In the right hands it presents a tantalizing opportunity for brilliance, but in the wrong hands, well, in the wrong hands the term epic disaster seems most appropriate. So where in this spectrum does Andersen fall huh? In all honest
Fine as a Tudor romance, but abysmal as speculative fiction/alternate history. Review to come.

Read This Review & More Like It At Ageless Pages Reviews

2.5 stars

Wasted potential.

I’m sorry, I know reviewers should focus only on what’s in front of them, but I couldn’t read The Boleyn King without dwelling on the fact that it does not live up to its premise. The selling point of the book, the very title, is the rewriting of history to suppose that Anne Boleyn didn’t lose her head, but instead ca
Charlene Vickers
Jul 30, 2013 Charlene Vickers rated it it was ok
What missed opportunities! A really intriguing what-if is marred by two-dimensional unrealistic characters, a plot that makes no sense, too much melodrama, and too many stereotypes. (I'm surprised one character isn't named Snidely Whiplash, he's such a textbook cardboard villain.) The main characters are quirky American teenagers magically transported to Tudor England. The author has no clue about Tudor forms of address or naming conventions (hint: the Duke of _____ should NEVER be called "Lord ...more
This novel is based on the what-if Anne Boleyn's son had lived, and became king after the death of his father Henry VIII. I'm generally not too fond of these types of novels, but I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at this one, I thought the author did an excellent job of imagining a new world, and how everyone's lives are so changed just from one child reaching adulthood. You'll find all the usual players and familiar names (oooh that Robert Dudley!!). There's a bit of a love triangle, a ...more
Sarah u
History is full of what ifs. What if Mary I had had a healthy child? What if Catherine of Aragon’s son had lived in 1511? What if, even before that, prince Arthur had not died in Ludlow and had become king? A biggie in the Tudor world is, of course- what if Anne Boleyn had not miscarried in January 1536? The Boleyn King explores this premise. In this book, Anne Boleyn was not executed and delivered a healthy son in the summer of 1536- Henry William. When Henry VIII dies in January 1547 it is An ...more
Sep 23, 2014 Tati rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
*ARC obtained from Random House through NEtGalley*

I am not British and am no expert in British history. I do know, however, the basics about Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. I do know the consequences of their affair (breaking with the Catholic Church and creation of the Anglican Church). I also know that Anne Boleyn did not have a happy ending, being beheaded after accusations of incest with her own brother. And I do know that Henry VIII had no legitimate sons (CORRECTION: he did have a son, who rul
Alexandria Brim
Sep 08, 2013 Alexandria Brim rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Maybe other Tudorphiles
Recommended to Alexandria by: Romantic Historical Lovers
I debated what to rate this because, once again, Goodreads doesn't use half stars. This will most likely get three and a half stars on my own review blog. (Shameless plug?: http://readingbythemoonlight.blogspot...)

And the main character is the problem. But more on that later. First, the plot. Anne Boleyn doesn't lose her child but rather gives birth to the son Henry has been longing for. The story proper picks up seventeen years later where that son, named William, is getting ready to enter his
April 2016:

DNF at pg.148

Yep. I tried it again.

There are things I can overlook. Such as the writing. It was a bit dull, but honestly not the worst thing I've ever read in my life. The characters, too. I can look some of their things over as well. Minuette was such a Mary-Sue that it wasn't even funny, but I could put up with her. She wasn't a boring Mary-Sue like Bella Swan.

However, there were just things I couldn't look over one bit.

1. Marie de Medici. I know. I ranted about that in my first tim
Silvana [The Book Voyagers]
Recommending to the ones who love royalty, conspiracies, murders, steamy romance and a teacup of your loving Tudors family.

Thank you Sue, Oh Queen of Recs. It was time, yes, to finally read this amazing book. And to start the Boleyn series. Oh yeah. You know that at English court it never goes as it is planned. There's always secrets in the air. The Boleyn King is everything of that and more. Laura Andersen drew me the picture perfectly and it couldn't have been better. I don't know what to say
Oct 01, 2014 Jewel rated it really liked it
I though I was done with the Tudors and the Boleyns, but I was wrong.

I LOVED this book.

It's an alternative history were Anne Boleyn's son survives and becomes King.

It's very cleverly written with the dates and real characters, some have survived to older age mainly Anne and George Boleyn.

I'm not sure I ever thought of George Boleyn as he was described here, but I think it needed to be done.

Our main characters are Will, the surviving son, and Elizabeth, along with two best and trusted friends, Do
The Boleyn King is the first book in a trilogy set in an “alternative” Tudor time-line, and having thoroughly enjoyed the books in print, I was really pleased to see that they’ve been made into audiobooks with the extremely talented Simon Vance on board as narrator.

The trilogy is founded upon an intriguing premise – what if Anne Boleyn had given Henry VIII a son who had lived to succeed his father?

In The Boleyn King, William Tudor (who will be crowned as Henry IX) is in the final year of his min
May 21, 2013 Liza rated it it was amazing
Where do I even begin? Imagine a world where Anne Boleyn was not killed and she did not miscarry. Imagine that pregnancy resulted in the birth of a son named William and how tremendously England's landscape would have changed. In this carefully thought out, "what if" scenario, Andersen seems to have constructed a perfect alternate universe that not only seemed plausible, but would leave Tudor fans wondering, "What if that child had only existed?"

The Boleyn King seems to have it all. There's murd
I admit, I’m not usually prone to picking up historical fiction set in the Tudor period. I’ve nothing against it, and in fact I find it to be a fascinating period of history, I just prefer to read books set in other time-periods.

The Boleyn King, however was an exception because I liked the idea of a “what if” story based around the idea of what might have happened had Anne Boleyn given Henry VIII the son he so desperately wanted; a son who was healthy and strong unlike the son borne to him by Ja
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Nov 05, 2013 Lyn (Readinghearts) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Historical fiction, Royalty readers, and Tudor aficionados.
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: The publisher through Netgalley
In the first book of her Boleyn King trilogy, Laura Andersen introduces us to William Tudor, son of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, younger brother or Elizabeth, and the newly crowned King Henry IX of England. As William's 18th birthday approaches, he is preparing to take over the running of the kingdom from his Uncle George Boleyn, who has been serving as Regent and head of William's government. Add to this the usual political intrigue that always seems to surround the Tudor court, or most Royal co ...more
Jun 18, 2013 Lori rated it it was amazing
I LOVE the idea of 'what if' a huge historical event were altered and where would those changes take us!!! Henry Viii and Anne Boleyn is one such event... what if Anne gave birth to a son and he became heir to the throne of England??? This novel was richly told with believable characters and events!!! Highly recommend and I can't wait for the next in the trilogy!!!
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Should have been subtitled "Everyone Loves Minuette." It was... OK?

For a further review: .
I really wanted to love this book as I liked the idea of it so much. What if Anne Boleyn HAD given Henry VIII a son and had not been beheaded? That is something that, as a Tudor fan, I liked to speculate on. It would have changed the whole course of history.

The book starts with 17 year old William on the throne. His name bothered me because every Tudor non fiction book I've read indicates that Henry wished to name his first son either Henry or Edward. Indeed his son to Jane Seymour was called Ed
May 03, 2014 Jess rated it it was amazing
I've got a weak spot for historical fiction and it's a tedious affliction. "Tedious?", you may ask. Yes, it's tedious because, let's be honest, there's a thin line between perfecting and blotching history. Historical fiction is hard to write; often it lacks the capability inspire or, likewise, the ability to evoke an aura of realism. This is why I was simply flabbergasted at this piece of work. Get this...Historical fiction, with a swirling touch of YA-- now that's an odd concoction. And yet it ...more
Rebecca Lovatt
Aug 29, 2013 Rebecca Lovatt rated it it was ok
Originally posted on the ArchedDoorway

The premise of The Boleyn King is to answer the question: “What if Anne Boleyn gave King Henry VIII a healthy son who lived to become king?” It follows his and Elizabeth’s life, as well as their companions Minuette, and Dominic.

I would like to note that I do enjoy Laura Anderson’s writing. She’s talented, and I think her writing makes for some pleasant light reading.

However, I did have some issues with this novel which prevented me from liking it quite so m
Sofia Lazaridou
May 10, 2013 Sofia Lazaridou rated it it was amazing
The Boleyn King is a page turned book. I couldn't put it down and I was eagerly turning every single page to see what is going to happen next. The story is told from 4 point of views. Elisabeth is a person we all know from history. Her and a part of her story in the book so far have really happened. There aren't many things to say about her as you already probably will know already about her. I liked the fact that the author decided to write from her POV too. Robert Dudley is also a part of the ...more
Sue (Hollywood News Source)
It had been a very long time since I have read a book that I devoured so much. I finished it with one sitting down. It's quite difficult to gather my thoughts well enough to manage a review. I honestly don't know where to begin. That’s how my obsession have gone extreme.

What if Anne did not miscarry her son in January 1536, but instead gave birth to a healthy royal boy? The premise just grabbed me. I have this fascination about rewriting history books. It’s one of those what if’s.

The Boleyn Kin
Ginger Churchill
Dec 30, 2014 Ginger Churchill rated it it was amazing
I cannot wait to read the published version with all its final twists and turns!

Laura Andersen's writing will take you to the inner circle of her alternative Tudor court to live all the majesty, intrigue, and passion of the era alongside unforgettable characters you will wish with all your heart were truly part of history.
Tara Chevrestt
I like "what if" books. This is a "what if Anne Boleyn's head had never been cut off and the son she miscarried still lived" what if book.

Having sworn off anything Tudor, I surprised myself by being drawn to this...and I liked it!

But I have one complaint right off the bat. It ends on a cliffhanger!!!! One conspiracy reveals another, one love affair begins...and the story ends, leaving us waiting for...a year? If the next book was already available, this wouldn't bother me so much, but I fear by
Did you absolutely love the HBO series, The Tudors? If so, this might be just the book for you. In The Boleyn King, Laura Andersen imagines what might have happened had Anne Boleyn given birth to a son, giving Henry VIII no reason to lop her head off and thereby changing the course of history.

While an older, widowed Anne does play a Queen Mother supportive role (albeit a small one) in the novel, the featured character is William, son of Anne and Henry who is now king of England. Surrounded by c
Jul 09, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
When I saw The Boleyn King on Netgalley I was instantly intrigued. What if Anne Boleyn's son had not died and became the heir to the throne behind his father Henry VIII? Would Anne have met her fate at Tower Green or would she live to raise the future King of England?

There is a lot to like about this book. Henry VIII has died and William is the king. However, he doesn't have the full power of the throne until his 18th birthday. His strongest supporter is his sister, Elizabeth. But he also has t
Dick Reynolds
Jul 13, 2013 Dick Reynolds rated it liked it
I won this Advance Reader’s Edition in a Goodreads giveaway.

What a fanciful conceit, spinning the story of Anne Boleyn giving birth to a son who becomes king of England, thereby saving herself and her brother George, Lord Rochford, from the executioner’s ax.
Laura Andersen serves up an interesting tale combing both fictional and actual characters. Anne’s son, William, is seventeen when the book begins and his best friend, Dominic is five years older. Minuette, the same age as Will, is Anne’s w
Jun 04, 2013 Michelle rated it liked it
Recommended to Michelle by: Sue (Hollywood News Source)
A “what if” book is, most of the time, entertaining; especially one that raises a simple question yet undoubtedly brings complex intriguing outcomes.

In The Boleyn King, the question is “what if Anne Boleyn gave birth to a healthy baby boy who proceeded to grow up become king after his father?” There are secrets and conspiracies going on in this book although they are not the central plot. It is a very tumultuous era for the Tudor court; what with the Spanish and the Catholics trying to ignite a
Washington Post
Aug 02, 2013 Washington Post rated it did not like it
What if Anne Boleyn hadn’t miscarried her son? Would Henry VIII have stopped at two wives? Alternate histories can be nifty exercises in “what if.” Alas, “The Boleyn King,” by Laura Andersen, is not. Henry IX is best friends with Dominic, while Henry’s sister Elizabeth is best friends with her lady-in-waiting, the enchanting Minuette. The four endeavor to find the source of a rumor about Henry’s mother that questions his legitimacy to the throne. What follows is the most inept investigation sinc ...more
Feb 23, 2013 Tammy rated it it was amazing

I've long been fascinated with the Boleyn family, so this book easily peaked my interest. The further I got into it, the more I was sucked into this alternate universe. A world where Anne Boleyn provides a male heir, where King Henry VIII only had two wives, where Elizabeth does not sit on a throne except for in the absence of her brother.

In fact the only thing I disliked about the book was how much information was given in the description, as the reader doesn't discover the love triangle u

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South African Boo...: The Boleyn King (Spoilers) 1 4 Nov 26, 2015 10:30AM  
South African Boo...: The Boleyn King (No Spoilers) 1 1 Nov 26, 2015 10:30AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 14, 2015 07:59AM  
Tudor History Lovers: June 2014 - The Boleyn King, by Laura Andersen 41 124 Oct 14, 2014 11:04AM  
  • Roses Have Thorns (Ladies in Waiting #3)
  • Venus in Winter
  • The Forgotten Queen
  • The Tudor Conspiracy (The Spymaster Chronicles, #2)
  • Mistress of Mourning
  • The King's Damsel (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #5)
  • The Boleyn Bride
  • Her Highness, the Traitor
  • Anne Boleyn: In Her Own Words & the Words of Those Who Knew Her
  • The Tudor Bride (Catherine de Valois, #2)
  • The Queen's Secret
  • At the Mercy of the Queen
  • Blood Between Queens (Thornleigh, #5)
  • Royal Mistress
  • The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown
  • Queen's Gambit (The Tudor Trilogy, #1)
  • Mary, Queen of France (Tudor Saga, #9)
  • I, Jane (In the Court of Henry VIII, #4)
Laura Andersen has one husband, four children, and a college degree in English that she puts to non-profitable use by reading everything she can lay her hands on. Books, shoes, and travel are her fiscal downfalls, which she justifies because all three ‘take you places.’ She loves the ocean (but not sand), forests (but not camping), good food (but not cooking), and shopping (there is no downside.) ...more
More about Laura Andersen...

Other Books in the Series

The Boleyn Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Boleyn Deceit (The Boleyn Trilogy, #2)
  • The Boleyn Reckoning (The Boleyn Trilogy, #3)

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