My Lady Viper by E. Knight
S E R I E S: Tales from the Tudor Court (Nº 1)
A U T H O R: E. Knight
P U B L I S H E R: Lake Union Publishing
P U B L I S H--D A T E: June 30, 2015
I S B N: 9781477830901
Historical FictionWhen Anne Boleyn falls to the executioner’s ax on a cold spring morning in 1536, Anne Seymour knows her family faces peril. As alliances shift and conspiracies multiply, the Seymours plot to establish their place in the treacherous court of King Henry VIII, where a courtier’s fate is decided by the whims of a hot-tempered and fickle monarch. Lady Anne’s own sister-in-law, Jane Seymour, soon takes Anne Boleyn’s place as queen. But if Jane cannot give King Henry a son, history portends that she, too, will be executed or set aside—and her family with her. In desperation, Lady Anne throws herself into the intoxicating intrigue of the Tudor court, determined to ensure the success of the new queen’s marriage and the elevation of the Seymour family to a more powerful position. Soon her machinations earn her a reputation as a viper in a den of rabbits. In a game of betrayal and favor, will her family’s rise be worth the loss of her soul?
As a Tudor and Elizabethan history enthusiast, I was immediately drawn to this book. I have read tons of books, both fiction, and non-fiction, on Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. In fact, I read anything I can get my hands on when it comes to these two monarchs and their courts. However, I've not read anything on Anne Seymour which is why I chose this book. I was not disappointed.
Reading the goings on of the court from her perspective was interesting and made her seem more human. Not that she wasn't, but I've always pictured her as someone that was power hungry, manipulative and very selfish not caring who she hurt to get what she wanted. And she was quite cunning and ruthless but I think the author gave her a little more humanity, making you see the reasoning behind some of the things she did. It was hard not to feel some empathy for her while reading this story.
It is well known that being a member of Henry's court was like walking on a two-edged sword, never knowing whether or not you might lose your head. It was a very dangerous game, often times brutal and only those that knew how to play the game well survived. Court politics even pitted family members against each other as they jockeyed for position and favor from the reigning monarch. It says something about Anne's personality that she was able to survive court life.
Court intrigue has always fascinated me and this book held my attention throughout. It was well written and thoroughly enjoyable. I easily give it four stars.