The Boleyn Deceit
The Boleyn Deceit is second in a proposed alternative history trilogy based on the idea that Anne Boleyn’s son was not stillborn. She, of course, remains queen, and when Henry VIII dies some years later, their son William ascends the throne as Henry IX. The first novel in the series details the transition from the regency government as William finally comes of age. The introduction of several new characters in the first novel, including William’s best friend Dominic Courtenay and his sister Elizabeth’s chief lady-in-waiting and friend, Minuette Wyatt, sets the stage for the conflicts in the second.
This second installment picks up when the first ended. A plot to overthrow William has been uncovered, its perpetrators have been arrested, and several key characters are dead. Details from this first book are leaked throughout the first half of The Boleyn Deceit, but for those readers who prefer to be fully informed, the first novel should definitely be read before attempting this one.
One of the primary focuses of the plot is the love triangle between William, Dominic, and Minuette. Unfortunately for the king, Dominic and Minuette are in love and are forced to dissemble in order to keep the peace. This quandary provides plenty of tension, though the high drama sometimes verges on trite.
The most interesting thing about this book is that author Laura Andersen has gone to great lengths to keep the same historical personages intact despite the fact that her version is an alternative history. This use of real history will please historical purists; therefore, this novel is recommended for all lovers of historical fiction.