At the Mercy of the Queen: A Novel of Anne Boleyn

At the Mercy of the Queen: A Novel of Anne Boleyn - Anne Clinard Barnhill One would think that someone like me would grow tired of the Tudors, as I have read books and watched shows and films about them voraciously for years. And honestly, I think I was starting to feel a bit less enamored recently. However, Barnhill's book has changed all that. Anne Boleyn is probably one of my most favorite Tudors, second only to her own daughter, Elizabeth I. I have loved her ever since watching the film, Anne of the Thousand Days, when I was but a girl of nine. Barnhill has taken Anne and written about her with such depth and understanding, I don't think I have ever read, or watched, her portrayed thus. Although I know there is much more written about her in the world that I have not read, I am confident that Barnhill has captured the very essence of Anne Boleyn. Of course, we all know pretty much everything about Anne's story (unless you've been living under a rock), but Barnhill adds that extra element that makes for great character development and excellent story craft. The scene that comes to mind is when Anne's son is born dead. Her utter sorrow over his loss actually brought tears to my eyes. A book that brings me to tears is a book worthy of my highest praise, as many of my readers know. The character of Anne is not the only one in the book that is well-written. One might think Lady Margaret Shelton a boring character by normal standards, but there is much to be said about such a loyal, yet complex woman. Loyal to her queen, yet not afraid to seek happiness for herself. Unfortunately, the times of Henry VIII were perilous for all and it couldn't be more evident than in the pages of this book. Everyone seemingly walked on a tightrope and no one's position was ever secure during his reign, not even his own children. Again, Barnhill portrays a character perfectly. We immediately know Henry's mind in this book as soon as he enters the story.I am very impressed with this debut novel. Historical fiction is not easy to write and to have crafted such a well researched, yet entertaining book, is quite an accomplishment for an author's first novel. I look forward to more great writing from Ms. Barnhill.