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To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn

(Ladies in Waiting #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  3,072 ratings  ·  259 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
Paperback, 332 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Howard Books
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,072 ratings  ·  259 reviews

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Start your review of To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn (Ladies in Waiting, #1)
Aug 29, 2013 marked it as to-read
I will definitely have to read this book now since I just discovered Meg Wyatt is my 15th great-grandmother. :)
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Fascinating look at the life of Anne Boleyn. The historical detail about her life as well as Henry VIII was riveting. I also enjoyed how the author wove the fictional story of lady in waiting Meg Wyatt to tell the story in first person. Enjoyable.
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Dec 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A tremendous believable account of the tragic story of Anne Boleyn, without being overwhelming, believable, realistic characters, and multiple absorbing themes—this book has it all. Full review on my blog: ...more
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
Serena Chase
Jul 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Joanna Johnson
Feb 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Jun 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Margaret Chind
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Margaret by: Libby Reed
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
Oct 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Rio (Lynne)
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Cheryl Olson
Jun 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
“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
Almost utterly devasting... but still a great work of fiction, and a masterful story, bringing to the life the tragedies of Anne Boleyn. And in the end, a hope of love and peace comes for the ever faithful and broken Meg.
Dec 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Good...but no favorite of mine.
Bookish Ally
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Commend me to the king, and tell him that he has been ever constant in his course of advancing me. From a private gentlewoman he made me a marchioness from marchioness to queen; and now he hath left no higher degree of earthly honor he intends to crown my innocency with the glory of martyrdom” - Anne Boleyn

4.25 stars for a book which lends a poignant perspective from a devoted friend, that of Mistress of the Wardrobe to her Grace the Queen, Meg Wyatt.

I’ve seen that this book has garnered some
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Having read my fair share of Anne Boleyn novels it's often hard to find something that really blows me away. Anne Boleyn's story is one that has been told numerous times now. This book didn't do anything new with the story, nor did it try to propagate some wild theory or bring in outside facts that didn't line up. Rather Sandra Byrd did a good job of using all the existing evidence but doing it in a way that made Anne seem like a real person. It was easy to feel sympathetic for Anne in the way B ...more
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Apr 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 02, 2011 rated it liked it
3 stars if you already have a good library of Tudor HF, 4 stars if you've just started your Tudormania.

Both the the strength and weakness of this book is its main character. Meg Wyatt, lifelong friend of Anne Boleyn, makes for an interesting narrator, since she has an up-close-and-personal view of the events in the Tudor court that perhaps not every other courtier had. However, it felt like Meg was given 90% of her characterization in the first 20 pages of the book. After that, she was just a "c
Jul 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-books
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 wa
Meg Wyatt grew up as a friend of Anne Boleyn and was at Court to witness Anne catch the eye of King Henry VIII. Meg's own childhood was an unhappy one in a cold household with a brutal father and dying mother, both determined to marry her off to old men at Court. All Meg wants is to be there for Anne and to marry her childhood friend Will who is to become a priest.

This book is a different retelling of the story of Anne Boleyn's rise to power as Queen, but having the story through Meg was quite i
Jul 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Anne Osterlund
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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
Christy English
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Loved this unique perspective of Anne Boleyn.

Thanks to Cheryl at her blog The Power of Story for hosting the giveaway!
Amy Gieser
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
4⭐️ for a Very well written account of Anne Boleyn. Byrd knows how to weave an interesting story around a big historical figure. Note however that a book written about Henry Vlll and Anne is not going to be suitable for anyone unmarried no matter how well done. There are just that many details to be acknowledged in their history. Nevertheless it is fascinating to read of this time in history which brought about so much change. Byrd does pretty well in writing of the reformation from a Protestant ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 21, 2014 04:09PM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 1 Oct 22, 2014 02:49PM  
Translation into Spanish, why not? 1 1 Jul 01, 2014 07:13PM  
Christian Histori...: Sandra Byrd's "To Die For" 5 21 Aug 19, 2011 07:32PM  

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Bestselling author Sandra Byrd has published fifty books over her editing and writing career. Her traditionally published books include titles by Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, Tyndale House Publishers, WaterBrook Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, and Bethany House Publishers.

Sandra’s series of historically sound Gothic romances launched with the best-selling Mist of Mid

Other books in the series

Ladies in Waiting (3 books)
  • The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr (Ladies in Waiting, #2)
  • Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I (Ladies in Waiting, #3)

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