The Light in the Labyrinth
In 1535, thirteen-year-old Kate Carey, niece of Anne Boleyn, arrives at Court to serve her aunt. Kate, who has been frustrated with her mother, Mary, for her lack of courtly ambition, is thrilled to finally be allowed to enjoy the benefits of being related to the Queen. It does not take her long, however, to realize that, far from being perfect, her aunt’s position is perilous indeed. As Kate watches in horror, she sees the decline in the relationship between the king and queen and the lengths many will go to bring her aunt down. Even the promise of future love does little to sway Kate from the anxious worship and worry she carries constantly for Aunt Nan, and the knowledge that she herself is the daughter of the king leads to despair. Will Kate ever be able to stand up for both herself and her aunt?
In the capable hands of Dunn, Kate Carey springs to life as a young girl looking for excitement who comes to realize that many people are not what they seem and perhaps her old life was not so bad after all. I found myself caught up in her story, even if she did display typically immature teenage behavior at times. Dunn paints Anne Boleyn as almost saint-like and Henry VIII as a vile man led by his libido; even so, I kept turning the pages to discover how Dunn would lead it all to play out. This unique look at a shadowy figure in the tragedy of Anne Boleyn is well written and intriguing.