ARC Review: Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All by Various Authors

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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.


****Thank you to Random House Children’s for sending me this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

This review is going to be a lot shorter than usual since this is an anthology and it’s a retelling of historical figures and events. There isn’t really a whole lot to discuss!

This was an okay book, not terribly bad but not terribly good either.I did enjoy reading it, just not as much as I originally thought I would. I don’t think I’m a big enough “Tudor fan” for this book, however, if you are very interested in Tudor history (especially Henry VIII and his wives) then you might enjoy this one!

There isn’t much to say about the plot since the plot is ….well history! We follow the 6 different POVs of Henry VIII’s wives: Katharine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Kateryn Parr. Then we also see some POVs from Henry VIII and Elizabeth I as well. Each POV is also written by a different YA author:   

  • M. T. Anderson – Henry VIII
  • Candace Fleming – Katharine of Aragon
  • Stephanie Hemphill – Anne Boleyn
  • Lisa Ann Sandell – Jane Seymour
  • Jennifer Donnelly – Anna of Cleves
  • Linda Sue Park – Catherine Howard
  • Deborah Hopkinson – Kateryn Parr

There wasn’t too terribly much revealed in each POV that I didn’t already know, but the writing was fantastic and I enjoyed reading through each perspective. My personal favorites were Fleming’s, Hemphill’s, and Park’s stories a.k.a. the tales of Katharine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and Catherine Howard. I also liked the added POV of Henry VIII after each of the wives’s POVs, I just thought it was an interesting touch to see how he played the victim in each marriage even though he obviously was not.

Overall this was an enjoyable enough book and one that I definitely recommend checking out if you’re a fan of Tudor history. If you aren’t terribly keen on Tudor history I’d pass on this one though.

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The Sassy



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