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The Light in the Labyrinth: The Last Days of Anne Boleyn. Paperback – 1 January 2017
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IN THE WINTER OF 1535, young Kate Carey lives with her mother and her new family, far from the royal court. Unhappy with her life and wanting to escape her home, she accepts the invitation of Anne Boleyn, the aunt she idolises, to join her household in London.
The dark, dangerous labyrinth of Henry VIII's court forces Kate to grow up fast as she witnesses her aunt's final tragic days - and then she discovers a secret that changes her life forever.
All things must end-all things but love.
"The Light in the Labyrinth is the compelling story of a teenager who witnesses the final days of Anne Boleyn, the tragic second wife of Henry VIII. Young adults will be enthralled by the romance and political suspense swirling around the court of the notorious Henry VIII, and they will fall in love with Queen Anne in Dunn's wonderful retelling of her tragic story." - Sandra Worth, author of the award-winning Rose of York trilogy.
"Wendy J. Dunn explores the final days of Queen Anne Boleyn through the eyes of the 14 year old Catherine Carey, and in doing so composes a lovely and poignant "coming of age" story. Though written in the third person, the novel is composed solely through the narrator's glimpse inside the keyhole of Catherine Carey's experiences. In using this approach, Queen Anne Boleyn's tragic final five months of life take on the drama, magical thinking, naivety and raw emotion so common of early teenagers."
"The Light in the Labyrinth is quite the read - no matter the age of the reader. And yes, thanks to Kate, a new voice has been added to the well-known haunting melody - a voice that mellows and matures as the story evolves and yet retains a touch of bitter-sweet innocence right to the bloody, inevitable end. It is with regret I close the covers on Kate's story..."
In the capable hands of Dunn, Kate Carey springs to life as a young girl looking for excitement who comes to realize that many people are not what they seem and perhaps her old life was not so bad after all. ...This unique look at a shadowy figure in the tragedy of Anne Boleyn is well written and intriguing --~ Tamela McCann for HNSA
About the Author
- Publisher : Poesy Quill (1 January 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 340 pages
- ISBN-10 : 098072192X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0980721928
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 1.93 x 21.59 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 1,016,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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At fourteen years of age, Kate is bored with her life in the English countryside with her mother and her new husband, and longs for the glamour of Henry VIII’s court and the company of her beautiful Aunt Nan. Kate gets her wish, but is about to discover the fraught world of 1535 Tudor politics; a landscape of strategy and betrayal, where one wrong step can cost you your reputation—or your life.
The novel is eloquent and well researched, unfolding smoothly and effortlessly from the point of view of Kate, a heroine we discover to be heartfelt, empathetic and quick to learn from the harshities at court. Kate swiftly sheds her naivety in her new surrounds, emerging as a strong young woman who is fiercely loyal to her Aunt to the end. Her budding love affair with her future husband, Francis Knolleys, is lushly rendered in some of the novel’s most romantic scenes.
Dunn’s imaginative knitting together of historical detail, use of poetic interludes and demonstrable knowledge of the Tudor period have produced a highly engaging read, captivating not only for its young adult audience, but for the adult reader as well. For the young adult, this novel makes a fine introduction to the historical period and the tragic tale of Anne Boleyn.
The author has created a detailed reimagining of the triumphs, excesses and perils of Henry VIII’s kingdom, and through the eyes of the tender-hearted Kate emerges a lovingly rendered portrayal of one of the most controversial women in English history. An excellent addition to any history lover’s library.
properly. I enjoy Philippa Gregory but this book is definitely not in that class. Still..AA for effort.
I was particularly fascinated by the glimpse into Anne Boleyn's strong character, her romantic suffering, and the love she maintained for Henry to the end. The details and richness of the court and family intrigue is a testament to the solid research. The author succeeds in stirring our empathy, not only for the Queen, but also for the condition and status of all women during this period of history.
Through his character's strong dialogue, Cromwell is well depicted and becomes a standout villain in this novel. King Henry's torment also comes through - one can see that his poor treatment of Anne Boleyn arises as much from the expectations men had of women at the time, as they do from Cromwell's political influence.
To be honest, I picked up this novel more for the journey with Anne Boleyn than out of interest for her niece. I loved every moment where Anne is given focus. I identified with her niece's devotion to her - I think this is the true force of this novel and its narrator: the reader becomes one with Catherine Carey.
Perhaps because this is a YA novel, I was less engaged with the romantic relationship between Catherine Carey and her future husband - what I appreciated was that its portrayal was faithful to the historical period.
What makes this novel unique is the language and introspective quality. Swept up by the dramatic events and the secrets she unravels, Catherine is forced to grow fast and she reflects often. I thought her psychology was well executed and that it would appeal to young adults. However I would recommend this novel to all Tudor period fans and I believe the author gracefully achieved what they set out to do.
Extra points also for it being one of the few books to make me cry.
Top reviews from other countries
At the end of the book, the author discusses the parts of the story we know less about, such as 'was Catherine really the daughter of Henry VIII'? And if any parts were added for story purpose, which I think deserves her even more respect.
I very much enjoyed Catherine's journey through the story... A sequel featuring Elizabeth and Catherine Willoughby (who I have become more fascinated about since reading this book) would be wonderful ;).
All in all this book is a beautiful light read for anyone interested in Tudor history. But be warned... The ending will leave you in tears.
The characters are multi dimensional, encapsulating the complex layers of people, then as now.
A thoroughly good read, kept me turning the pages eagerly.