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
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.
He was King Henry VIII, a charismatic and extravagant ruler
obsessed with both his power as king and with siring a male
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.