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Fatal Throne

Fatal Throne, May 2018
by Candace Fleming, Linda Sue Park, Jennifer Donnelly, Stephanie Hemphill, M.T. Anderson, Lisa Ann Sandell, Deborah Hopkinson

Schwartz & Wade
Featuring: Henry VIII
416 pages
ISBN: 1524716197
EAN: 9781524716196
Kindle: B076GPDT1X
Hardcover / e-Book
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"Death comes to all in this captivating historical drama, in the end..."

Fresh Fiction Review

Fatal Throne
Candace Fleming, Linda Sue Park, Jennifer Donnelly, Stephanie Hemphill, M.T. Anderson, Lisa Ann Sandell, Deborah Hopkinson

Reviewed by Ande Flanagan
Posted June 21, 2018

Historical | Literature and Fiction Literary

FATAL THRONE is a collaboration between seven authors. M.T. Anderson fills the role and male voice of Henry VIII. The six female authors; Deborah Hopkinson, Lisa Ann Sandell, Stephanie Hemphill, Jennifer Donnelly, Linda Sue Park, and Candace Fleming; take on a queen a piece. The queens' stories are vastly different because of this. They are given depth and unique personalities. Katherine of Avalon is orderly, where as Anne of Cleves is having a poppy induced fever dream during her last days. No matter what, Anne Boleyn will always be the most vivacious.

It's hard to pick a favorite tale, all the queens have such life, until they don't. This is a work of fiction, so remember liberties are taken. Even so, I was sucked in imagining this world so far distant from today. Each queen is easily consumable on her own. I read them one at a time, with breaks in between, to better absorb and just feel for these women.

At the end of each queen's tale, it's Henry's turn. M.T. Anderson does an excellent job depicting the thoughts of this man with too much power, which is probably the politest way I can say it. These short additions link the timeline of the queens and shows Henry's perspective of meeting the next queen or why the previous one had to go.

I appreciate the level of thought placed on the design of the hardcover. Particularly, the dust jacket. The tear of blood is raised and glistens like fresh blood. Under the dust jacket, the Tudor rose is embossed on the cover. If you do buy a print version of this book, I highly recommend you go with the hardcover. It's a statement piece. The inside is just as stylistically designed. Each queen's story starts with a cover page with their motto and seal or crest. The text of the queens' stories is in a serif font, while Henry VIII is a sans serif. It creates a clear and visually jarring contrast, which I liked. Every time the font switched, I thought "what excuse is he going to spout now?" with a giant eye roll.

FATAL THRONE is a worthwhile read and certainly a departure from my typical romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this unique take on the lives of these seven very real people. I'm recommending this book left and right as my fellow Fresh Fiction book club members can attest.

Learn more about Fatal Throne

SUMMARY

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.

Who's Who:

- 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


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