Title: Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All
Authors: M.T. Anderson, Jennifer Donnelly, Candace Fleming, Stephanie Hemphill, Deborah Hopkinson, Linda Sue Park, Lisa Ann Sandell
Original Publication Date: May 01, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 416 [Kindle edition]
He was King Henry VIII, a charismatic and extravagant ruler obsessed with both his power as king and with siring a male heir.
They were his queens–six ill-fated women, each bound for divorce, or beheading, or death.
Watch spellbound as each of Henry’s wives attempts to survive their unpredictable king and his power-hungry court. See the sword flash as fiery Anne Boleyn is beheaded for adultery. Follow Jane Seymour as she rises from bullied court maiden to beloved queen, only to die after giving birth. Feel Catherine Howard’s terror as old lovers resurface and whisper vicious rumors to Henry’s influential advisors. Experience the heartache of mothers as they lose son after son, heir after heir.
Told in stirring first-person accounts, Fatal Throne is at once provocative and heartbreaking, an epic tale that is also an intimate look at the royalty of the most perilous times in English history.
My Mini Review:
rarely never ever listened in History class as a student. All I’ve ever known about King Henry VIII was learned from the film, The Other Boleyn Girl, which I saw in theatres twice when it first came out [10 years ago!]. History is not un-interesting to me, I just hate reading the boring, big textbooks. I do love modern/contemporary films and series based on long ago times so when I read the synopsis for this novel, I immediately put myself on hold for it on Overdrive. It took nearly 2 months for me to get a copy!
To tell each Queen’s story in the first perspective through different authors was already genius then, after each woman’s chapter, the font changes and Henry gets to put his own two cents in. I LOVED IT. Every wives’ chapter is around an hour long while Henry’s chapters are at the most only 20 minutes [at my personal reading pace according to the Kindle app] but, I somehow always ended up siding with him; I truly believe he had a huge heart filled with so much love. All of his “evil” actions were justified and I understand every decision he had to make.
My only problem was with Anna of Cleves’ chapter. It was not at all as well-written as the others, very hard to follow, and left the least amount of impact on me. She also completely ruins the rest of the book by telling us about the remaining Queens’ [Catherine and Kateryn] becomings and fates– that really bothered me. Had the chapter been written differently, I would have been able to give this book five stars. I completely invested myself into this world and felt as though I was in England under Henry’s reign.
My Favorite Quotes:
“Keep your chin up and smile, and no one will know you feel differently.”
“At once, we felt like brothers– but as with brothers, I wanted to push him down in the dirt and make him cry to me for mercy.”
“For if given the choice, people will believe the worst of you, not the best.”
“Truth is boring, after all, compared to rumour and lechery.”
“I thought the roles of amour and wife were not so dissimilar, that a clever woman could be both at once.”
“I believe firmly that a woman’s mind is as capable as a man’s, but it must be cultivated lest it go fallow.”
“Beware the quiet ones, my mother always said. They are the greatest deceivers of all.”
“But I wonder… does the hurt that comes from knowing one has been mistreated and betrayed ever heal?”
“Still, I must remember, it is wrong to judge what might be in the heart of another.”
“I wonder if he could actually feel as lonely as I do. Perhaps I can be his saviour from his loneliness? And he could be mine.”
“If the floor would swallow me in this instant, I would feel no regret.”
“Plain girls can prosper. We can make our lives our own. We can go about our business without so many lewd words. Without so many slobberings and gropings and hands up our skirts.”
“I love her and I fear her. I can’t stand to leave her, but I can’t bear to stay. I can’t breathe without her, yet she suffocates me.”
“Life deals the cards, but it is up to us how we play them. The sooner you learn that, the better off you’ll be.”
“How can the moments of a life last forever, while the years go by in a heartbeat?”
“Oh, how I prefer the honest violence of men, who will bash in another man’s skull and be done, to the thousand shallow cuts of women’s malice.”
“Memory is a high palace containing many rooms. Some of the doors we rush to open; others we lock forever.”
“By changing a life, just one life, you can change the world. It is the only way anyone ever has.”
“It’s impossible to tell what’s true and what’s not, and sometimes I think no one even cares so long as it’s exciting.”
“It’s rather thrilling to be the subject of so much attention, but at the same time, I don’t like the whispering, I always wonder what’s being said.”
“When someone says ‘You wouldn’t understand,’ what they really mean is ‘we don’t want you to know.’”
“If the ground beneath my feet split– if there were suddenly an abyss beneath me, I wouldn’t be able to tear myself away from him. I’d fall to my death with my tongue seeking his.”
“Those I do not hate, I still can’t trust.”
My Rating: 4.5 out 5
Dates Read: August 13-August 17, 2018