#bookreview – Phoenix Rising: A Novel of Anne Boleyn – by Hunter S. Jones

Interesting premise, marginal execution (no pun intended). Awarded 2 stars on Goodreads.

phoenixThe promise of this novel is that the reader will learn the details in the final hour of Queen Anne Boleyn’s life. And so each chapter tells a bit about that hour from different perspectives – Thomas Cranmer, Thomas Crowell, Jane Seymour, Anne herself, King Henry VIII, and even the executioner. Interesting idea, right?

But it turns out reading the author’s conjecture on what each person might be thinking is mostly bland with a couple exceptions.

  • Anne is shown as expecting a reprieve up to the last moment.
  • Henry VIII quietly feels intense regret, remembering the passion he had for Anne.
  • And Archbishop Thomas Cranmer feels deep guilt since Anne was the root of his own advancement.
The problem is just that I didn’t feel much in the reading. And there are lots of useless facts and notations (I assume taken from actual written records of the time) that do nothing to advance the story. For fans of Tudor England – there are many better historical novels than this one.

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