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The Boleyn King

(The Boleyn Trilogy #1)

by
3.76  ·  Rating details ·  4,211 ratings  ·  787 reviews
Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, and Showtime’s The Tudors, The Boleyn King is the first book in an enthralling trilogy that dares to imagine: What if Anne Boleyn had actually given Henry VIII a son who grew up to be king?

Just seventeen years old, Henry IX, known as William, is a king bound by the restraints of the regency yet anxious to prove himself
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Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,211 ratings  ·  787 reviews


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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
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
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Erin
Apr 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Danielle
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
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Charlene Vickers
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
Misfit
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
chucklesthescot
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
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Iset
May 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to have to agree with Khanh on this one. The lure of 'what would have happened if Anne Boleyn had lived' is a strong one for Tudorphiles. It appeals to our sense of correcting injustice, and makes a great hook. The way the hypothetical is usually phrased is that Anne does not miscarry in January 1536, thus setting up the alternate timeline. That's what the author does here. The problem is - with Anne getting her happy ending here, the alternate timeline is utterly boring. There's not n ...more
Alexandria Brim
Jul 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Tati
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
~Bellegirl91~
Where do I begin? I have no words I'm so speechless about the ending of both the last chapter AND the Interlude of this book that it's making me want the next book! I LOVE Tudor History/Court for some reason and to have this book answer such the compelling question MANY have wondered no matter if you're a historian, love history/history buff, or only know a little about Henry VIII; the one question that will be long questioned with his story is "What if Anne Boleyn gave Henry VIII the son he so ...more
Jewel
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Should have been subtitled "Everyone Loves Minuette." It was... OK?

For a further review: http://susannag.booklikes.com/post/90... .
Caz
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
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Caz
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
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Liza
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
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Lyn (Readinghearts)
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lori
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!!!
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/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
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JoLene
3.5 stars

This is an alternate history set in the Tudor period. In this rendition, Anne Boleyn finally had a son with Henry (and thus didn't get executed). The story opens with William as the King, but underage so his uncle is the regent. Will and Elizabeth are close and each has a confidante (Dominic and Minuette respectively). When one of Elizabeth's ladies in waiting end up dead under suspicious circumstances, the foursome decide to investigate. In the background, there are lots of political m
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Jess
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sofia Lazaridou
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Ki
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Jessica
It feels weird to rate a book based on "wasted potential" -- i.e., what isn't there instead of what is there -- but that's essentially what it comes down to for me. The premise was so intriguing, and I was disappointed by what was presented. Perhaps it's because I just finished a well-done nonfiction work on Anne Boleyn (The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn), but the historical inaccuracies and anachronisms in the story stood out especially strongly. The dialogue sounded jarringly mode ...more
Rebecca Lovatt
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
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Hillary
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this books there was so much going with this book that it made fun to try to guess what would happen next . i can not wait to read the next two books to see if things happen the way i think that they will . if you love reading about king henry and his family then you will love this book . it makes you think of king henry and family in different way then we have been taught in school . i do not want to give the whole book away . but i do love how the author keeps you wondering on what is ...more
Ginger Churchill
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.
Katie
Jun 23, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Arghhh! This was so bad. What could be more intriguing than an alternative history about Anne Boleyn’s historically stillborn son, a.k.a the one we all want to believe would have saved her from being murdered by her psycho husband? While that alternative history does of course form the structure of this book, it somehow isn’t what the story is about at all. Instead, what we get is a love triangle plot between Anne’s son William and the author’s other two made-up characters, Minuette and Dominic. ...more
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
3.5/5

So if you like historical fictions or fantasies that are heavy politics, this is a good one for you. Even though it messes with history, the author brought in names familiar to anyone who followed real Tudor history as well as the key rumour/public opinions of Anne herself. Really interesting concept and with it being so very heavy on the politics (and therefore relatively slower paced), I think it's the perfect size/length. I actually got excited everytime a character was introduced or men
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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

Other books in the series

The Boleyn Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Boleyn Deceit (The Boleyn Trilogy, #2)
  • The Boleyn Reckoning (The Boleyn Trilogy, #3)
“When I was young, I thought of eighteen as a mystical age, a time when I would know my future and myself. But I find this morning that I am sure of nothing.” 0 likes
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