As today is the 482nd anniversary of the execution of Anne Boleyn, I thought what better way to mark such a gruesome occasion than to review a new YA anthology that focuses on one of Britain’s most volatile periods, the Tudor era.
So, did Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All offer a sophisticated YA interpretation of Henry VIII and his wives? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
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Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (May 1, 2018)
Print Length: 416 pages
Fatal Throne, a book about Henry VIII and his six wives, coordinated by Candace Fleming. Fleming and six other authors will each contribute a story from different points of view: M.T. Anderson, Jennifer Donnelly, Stephanie Hemphill, Deborah Hopkinson, Linda Sue Park, and Lisa Ann Sandell.
Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII TellAll is a fantastic YA foray into the lives of some of Britain’s most scandalous monarchs.
Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII TellAll follows the fictionalized anthology of the famed Tudor King, Henry VIII, and his six wives: Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Katheryn Parr.
Told in a series of first person accounts by each of the wives, followed then by an interjection of Henry VIII, this is the first YA novel that has focused on one of my favourite historical periods that I feel presented history in such a clever way. While not an in depth biography, Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII TellAll seems like it could compel younger audiences to go out and discover the fact from fiction, and for that I feel as if each other did his or her job impeccably.
As with any anthology series, there were certain characters and authors I gravitated towards over others. As she is quite possibly my favourite female historical figure, I had high expectations for Stephanie Hemphill’s section on the famed Anne Boleyn, and I was not disappointed. Also, I did rather enjoy how M.T. Anderson’s sections on Henry VIII followed each of the wives tales, it was almost as if his big, boisterous personality had one more opportunity to get the last word in. On the other hand, and at no fault to Jennifer Donnelly or her writing, I did skim over Anne of Cleves’ section, given that I find her life to be but a blip compared to many of the other wives.
While this anthology offers no new insight into the wives, if you are interested in this topic I do recommend you pick this one up.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
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And those are my thoughts on Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All by Candace Fleming. Have any Tudor historical fiction recommendations you’d like to share? Leave them as a comment below and help my TBR grow.