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The Light in the Labyrinth

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  342 ratings  ·  74 reviews
A Queen fights for her life.
A King denies his heart and soul.
A girl faces her true identity.
All things must come to an end—all things but love.

IN THE WINTER OF 1535, fourteen-year-old Kate Carey wants to escape her family home. She thinks her life will be so much better with Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife and the aunt she idolises. Little does Kate know that by goi
Paperback, 336 pages
Published 2014 by Metropolis Ink (first published October 25th 14)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
My thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book for review. This one I picked because it was set in Tudor England, Henry VIII’s court to be specific, and told through the eyes of young Catherine ‘Kate’ Carey, daughter of Mary Boleyn, and Anne’s niece.

Kate Carey is disgruntled with her life at home with her mother and stepfather, Will Stafford, perplexed at why her mother married so much beneath her, and why she has to stay home with her new step brother and sister while her brother Henry is at co
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Through the partial eyes of her own niece, Anne Boleyn comes to life in "The Light in the Labyrinth". But it is death, not life, that pervades this book.

"A raven cawed and wheeled in the sky above Kate... Black wings beat amongst white human skulls. Among death."

When Katherine Carey arrives in London, the Queen's fate is about to be made. It's just a matter of a few months before Anne is sent to the Tower and senteced to death. Katherine's account of those last days reveals the figure of a
Most of you know I'm a huge Tudor fan and having just walked many of the places I've been reading about in historical fiction for years it gives a new level of 'feeling' to my reading. I found The Light in the Labyrinth to be a well written blending of historical fact and imagination and I think the author's notes clarify that Wendy Dunn's imaginings are indeed plausible.

We follow Catherine (Kate) Carey, daughter of Mary Boleyn and niece of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's 2nd wife as she joins her Au
Sophie Masson
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lively, touching and vivid, this novel offers a fresh and unusual perspective on one of history's most well-known stories, the downfall of Anne Boleyn, by telling it through the eyes of young Kate Carey, Anne's niece, daughter of her sister Mary. when the novel opens, we meet Kate as the archetypal resentful, wounded teenager, hating the fact her mother is happy with her new husband, who Kate thinks is not a patch, socially and otherwise, on her dead father. Kate is desperate to start life, whic ...more
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Although this is a YA book, I found it engrossing as an adult reader. Having a fairly good background knowledge of the Anne Boleyn story, I was delighted to see it retold from the perspective of Anne's niece. There is a wealth of accurate historical detail included here, but where the book really shines is in the emotional depth behind the storytelling. Catherine Carey (Anne's niece) is at odds with her mother, who she feels has given up on life by marrying for love, and idolises her sophisticat ...more
Joshua Grant
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The 1500s spawned a great wealth of dark tales for subsequent generations to be fascinated by. Wendy Dunn seizes on this in The Light in the Labyrinth, a tale of the Tudors told from a fresh perspective. As young Kate goes to attend to her aunt, she witnesses the drama and ultimate terror that surrounded Henry VIII. This is a heartfelt, intriguing, and dark story told from a wonderfully fresh perspective!
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 16th-century
I was touched by this moving account of the last days of Anne Boleyn, as told through her niece, Catherine Carey.

I was particularly fascinated by the glimpse into Anne Boleyn's strong character, her romantic suffering, and the love she maintained for Henry to the end. The details and richness of the court and family intrigue is a testament to the solid research. The author succeeds in stirring our empathy, not only for the Queen, but also for the condition and status of all women during this pe
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wendy J. Dunn’s astonishing young adult novel “The Light in the Labyrinth” is the rich and compelling tale of the tragic days leading to Anne Boleyn's execution, seen through the eyes of Catherine (Kate) Carey, daughter of Mary Boleyn and niece of Anne.

At fourteen years of age, Kate is bored with her life in the English countryside with her mother and her new husband, and longs for the glamour of Henry VIII’s court and the company of her beautiful Aunt Nan. Kate gets her wish, but is about to d
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a person obsessed with Tudor and Plantagenet history, I really liked this book.

Through the later years of his reign, Henry's desire for a male heir, drove him to set aside one queen, and behead another, and I find Anne as much a victim of Henry as I do Katherine. In books both nonfiction and fiction, it is often too easy to hate Anne for her role in the fate Katherine of Aragon and her daughter, Mary I. But this book managed to cast a more sympathetic light on Anne, which I don't find too oft
Lauren Chater
The Light in The Labyrinth was a book I discovered accidentally, through a contact at a writing conference. I'm so glad I did! It's a fantastic book, set in Tudor times at the end of Anne Boleyn's lifetime. The heroine, Kate, is Anne's niece and like many young women, she longs to fly the nest and experience the glitter and glamour of courtly life. When an opportunity arrives for her to visit her aunt, she seizes it with both hands. But court of King Henry the 8th is not everything she imagines ...more
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
With The Light in the Labyrinth, Dunn has written a book that is a page turner! I loved her first book, Dear Heart, and this one did not disappoint. While this is a young adult novel, adults will love it just as much as teenagers. Dunn's commitment to historical accuracy shines through on each page. Kate Carey is an engaging character who kept my interest and the novel is fast-paced and interesting. I highly recommend this book. ...more
Elizabeth(The Book Whisperer)
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was told from the point of view of Katherine Carey who was the daughter of Mary Boleyn and believed to be fathered by Henry VIII. The story follows Kate as she is brought to court and has to witness the fall and death of her beloved aunt. I really liked this book. Its perfect for those of us who adore historical fiction, particularly Tudor times, and have already read all of Phillipa Gregory's books. ...more
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Although written for YA, found it very enjoyable. It tells of Anne's last days from the view of her 14 year old niece, who remained with her to the end. Ms. Dunn treats the material with respect and feeling. I found it very moving. ...more
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher -
A Queen fights for her life.
A King denies his heart and soul.
A girl faces her true identity.
All things must come to an end—all things but love.
IN THE WINTER OF 1535, fourteen-year-old Kate Carey wants to escape her family home. She thinks her life will be so much better with Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife and the aunt she idolizes. Little does Kate know that by goi
Jan 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgallery, 2018
3 1/2 stars

Was Katherine Carey, niece to Anne Boleyn the Queen's companion in her final day's in the tower? Dunn's thoroughly researched young adult novel lets us see the demise of Queen Anne through the eyes of a fourteen year old Kate Carey. Caught up in the courtly games and the struggle to find her place as the unclaimed bastard daughter of King Henry VIII in a den of wolves. Dunn give a new perspective on a woman who became a King's obsession. Through Kate she highlights the constant tightr
Mirta Trupp
Two things struck me in reading this novel. #1 The author has softened Anne Boleyn's character traits. It is a different perspective of the queen, to say the least—almost saintly. I'm not certain how I feel about that. #2 There is mention of the Jewish Queen, Esther, and the role she played in saving her people. It was a pleasant surprise, as it was touched upon in several passages and is an important, recurring theme:

"Many, many times, I have heard her speak of Esther and her husband, the Persi
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Light in the Labyrinth is the story of Katherine "Kate" Carey, daughter of Mary Boleyn and niece to Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII. Young Kate is 14, impulsive, self absorbed, in other words, a typical 14 year old. Kate wants nothing more than to go to court and serve her "aunt Nan", the Queen of England, rather than remain in the home which she views as impoverished and backwater. But Henry's court is a perilous place, especially for a naive teenager, and especially at this tim ...more
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways-arc
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Almost Exclusively Plot

First off, let me say I love just about any book that is Tudor related, so this book was right up my alley. Kate Carey is the niece of Anne Boleyn. She is unhappy with her life with her mother, her new (and in Kate’s opinion) beneath her husband Will Stafford, and her step brother and sister. She finally get permission to go to court to serve her aunt Anne, who is Queen of England. Upon arri
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I absolutely love reading anything about the Tudor time period, whether it's fiction or non-fiction, so when I saw this story on Netgalley I was immediately drawn to it.
It offers a really interesting and different take on the downfall of Anne Boleyn (one of my favourite people to read about during that tumultuous time).
The descriptions of the court, of the costumes, of the behaviours of the people are so evocative that I felt as if I had truly gone back in time and was immersed in their lives.
J.E. Feldman
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I absolutely adore reading Philippa Gregory's work because she has a way of bringing to life historical history whereas many others have the unlucky habit of making it boring. Here is another author who has breathed life into times long gone and nearly forgotten. She has certainly done a lot of research to pull this off and I applaud her efforts. An intriguing new look at Anne Boleyn's history through the eyes of another less well known character. Brilliant work a ...more
All that glitters is not gold ... as 14yo Kate Carey, daughter of Mary Boleyn will soon discover as she arrives at the court of her aunt Anne in 1535. What she will find is a viper's nest of secrets and scandal that will force her to grow up very quickly if she is to survive.

Told from the perspective of Kate, whose loyalty to her kin is remarkable in these last few months of Anne's life - a loyalty that could see her own downfall.

As the saying goes, sometimes the grass is not always greener on t
Lady Alexandrine
"Then she was a different person, an innocent cast into a dark labyrinth. Time had rendered it less dark, but only for the light to reveal fearful paths of hate, jealousy and suspicion. She was no longer the innocent girl who had arrived at court five months ago." - a quote from the ARC of "The Light in the Labyrinth"

The novel "The Light in the Labyrinth" tells the history of Anne Boleyn’s demise from the perspective of her niece, Katherine Carey. Katherine was a daughter of Mary Boleyn, who was
Helen Hollick
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review:
Helen Hollick

'a good read for any age'
Carole P. Roman
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Henry VIII's court was a lace of mystery and secrets. Wendy Dunn creates an atmospheric coming of age book about Katherine Carey, Anne Boleyn's niece. Locked in typical teenage struggle with her mother and stepfather, Kate yearns to live at court with her glamorous aunt, the Queen on England. Tantalizing tidbits of gossip tease her, but she is young and innocent and unaware of the storm brewing in the troubled court. Like a flower unfolding, Katherine slowly learns the secrets of both her and he ...more
Kari Dennis
Lack of depth

The characters all seemed very one dimensional, either 'good guys' or 'bad guys'. Especially annoying was her portrayal of Anne Boleyn, who was portrayed in this book as just shy of sightedness, ignoring pretty much everything ever written about her personality. Was she guilty of adultery and incest? The adultery, probably not, the incest, almost undoubtedly not, but she was supposed to be high strung, manipulative, vindictive, temperamental, abrasive, self-centred and power hungry
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Katherine Carey, daughter of Mary Boleyn wants nothing more than to leave her impoverished family home in the countryside and join her Aunt Nan at court. When her mother and stepfather finally agree to let Kate go, Aunt Nan, also known as Queen Anne welcomes young Kate with open arms. However, court life is not all fun and games as Kate imagined. Danger, lies and secrets are what Kate finds instead. Queen Anne has already fell out of favor with the King, Kate is unable to walk alone through the ...more
Elizabeth Batt
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been looking forward to Wendy Dunn’s next book since reading “Dear Heart” several years ago, so I was excited to see “The Light in the Labyrinth” published. Although the book is written for the teen market, adults would be remiss to overlook this one. It’s certainly written well enough that it can be enjoyed by both.

The story of Anne Boleyn’s final days before her execution is a subject tackled by many an author and thus some might believe the topic is an exhausted one. But Dunn, having tol
Maureen Riches
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved it, loved it!

Looking for the perfect gift for your teenaged daughter or grand-daughter?
Young Adults will be hiding away to read undisturbed when they get their hands on Wendy Dunn’s The Light in the Labyrinth, Dunn’s second Tudor novel. Teen-aged girls especially will be enchanted as this spell-binding work of fiction based on historical fact brings the characters of Henry VIII’s Tudor court to life on the page.
The Light in the Labyrinth paints a new and sympathetic picture of the fate of
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This young adult novel looks at the last of Anne Boleyn, through the eyes of her niece, the teenage Catherine Carey, daughter of Mary Boleyn. It is absolutely perfect for those just getting into history. However It is also a perfect 'light read' for anyone of any age. The descriptions of the palaces, clothes events etc. are brilliant, and really bring everything to life. I found the ending with Anne's downfall/execution to be incredibly gripping, filled with suspense, and very emotional. Somethi ...more
Stephanie Kline
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was sent this book for a review and I can't say I liked it as much as I'd hoped. Although not necessarily boring, it wasn't very fast-paced for me. Characters were very one-dimensional and there wasn't very much feeling coming through the pages. I'm always a little wary when authors try to paint Anne Boleyn as a saint - as this one does - because it doesn't feel genuine. The main character, Anne's niece Kate, did not add very much to the story, and aside from her crush on Francis Knollys, neve ...more
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5 stars from Elizabeth R. Michaels! 1 1 Dec 22, 2014 04:28PM  
5 Stars from Mikayla Beyer 1 2 Dec 22, 2014 04:25PM  
Book Giveaways: Giveaway: The Light in the Labyrinth by Wendy J. Dunn (INT ends 16th Dec) 2 6 Dec 10, 2014 09:12AM  
Aussie Readers: Giveaway: The Light in the Labyrinth by Wendy J. Dunn (INT ends 16th Dec) 1 10 Dec 09, 2014 04:24PM  
5 stars from Kathleen Ingram! 1 1 Nov 14, 2014 06:41PM  
Wow! 5 stars from Sophie Masson! 1 2 Nov 14, 2014 06:30PM  
Another five star review at Amazon! 1 2 Nov 04, 2014 10:16PM  

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Wendy J. Dunn is an Australian writer who has been obsessed by Anne Boleyn and Tudor History since she was ten-years-old. She is the author of two Anne Boleyn novels: Dear Heart, How Like You This?, the winner of the 2003 Glyph Fiction Award and 2004 runner up in the Eric Hoffer Award for Commercial Fiction, and The Light in the Labyrinth, her first young adult novel. Wendy's third novel, Falling ...more

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“The Light in the Labyrinth is a beautifully written book, a gem. I savoured every word; words written with so much ‘colour’. Even though I know the story of Queen Anne Boleyn, Dunn’s perspective on her last days is missing in so many other books of the genre. Dunn gives grace to the history and an honest, and very compassionate look at Anne’s last days. I cried in the end, shedding tears for the young Kate, Anne and her little Bess. I have not yet read a Tudor book that has moved me to tears, as this wonderful journey does. Dunn’s dedication and research shines through in this unforgettable book, a book not just for young readers, but also for all.” — Lara Salzano, avid Tudor reader.” 3 likes
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