Lisa's Reviews > The Boleyn Inheritance

The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
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Jun 14, 08

Read in June, 2008

"So, he is dead at last. The man who failed the promise of his youth, the king who turned tyrant, the scholar who went mad, the beloved boy who became a monster. How many did the king kill? We can start to count now that death has stilled his murderous will. Thousands. No one will ever know. Up and down the land the burnings in the marketplace for heresy, the hangings at the gallows for treason. Thousands and thousands of men and women whose only crime was that they disagreed with him. This is the man they call a great king, the greatest king that we have ever had in England."

Philippa Gregory is two for two for me so far. Her books, carefully researched interpretations of English history, are like heroin for someone fascinated with Tudor England such as myself. I've stood in those rooms. I've touched those stones. I've studied those people. There are songs that chant what a strange affair Henry VIII was, but never do we stop to think what terror it must have been to live through, especially for those that actually survived. These books make it come alive. Her words open your eyes to this world, which was once as real as the room I sit in now. You can see the dancing, hear the lutes, smell the soot and taste the blood. These characters, once perceived as nothing but small paintings of strained smiles in your history books, breathe new life and weave a web as intricate as it actually was.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It's not quite as good as its predecessor, The Other Boleyn Girl, but just as engrossing. It isn't a quick, light read. I will admit that I stopped and picked up two other novels in the middle. But Gregory rewards those that have stayed faithful through the 400-page mark, and the last 100 or so pages are the definition of "page-turner".

Please, Ms. Gregory, keep 'em coming...
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