The Boleyn Reckoning
The Boleyn Reckoning is the third and concluding installment in Laura Andersen’s alternative history series that traces the life of a king that never was. Anderson begins with The Boleyn King and presents a Tudor world in which Anne Boleyn did in fact give birth to her savior, William, who is now King Henry IV. The story continues in the second in the series, The Boleyn Deceit, which finds the king dealing with questions of his legitimacy, relations with France and Spain, and the tortuous decision of whom to marry, either for love or for England. The Boleyn Reckoning picks up the story with the royal family scraping through a disastrous winter and preparing for invasion.
William is still consumed by matters of the heart, and his decision to select Minuette, his childhood friend, over a European princess has brought England to imminent war. Moreover, Minuette has since married Dominic, William’s lifelong friend, in secret, but William’s determination to have Minuette might ruin them all and bring England down with them. Mirroring his father, Henry VIII, William becomes erratic, vengeful and merciless, and it seems he will risk England itself to sedate his growing rage. However, England is not without hope. William’s elder sister, Elizabeth, must choose between the love for her brother and her love for her country.
Andersen’s trilogy is a thoroughly mesmerizing read. She not only manages to create a Tudor England with all the well-known inhabitants that fans of the period will readily relate to but she also manages to craft an intriguing alternative historical plotline with rich fictional personages that are as engaging as the historical ones, if not more so. The Boleyn Reckoning should not be missed.