Monday, September 26, 2011

To Die For, by Sandra Byrd

Meg has been a friend to Anne Boleyn since they were small children, but now as young women, their lives take on new purpose: to marry and have children.  It becomes clear to both girls that marriage is less about love, and more about politics.  As Meg is pushed into a marriage with a much older man, Anne pushes herself into a life with the King.  After many months of political intrigue Anne gets her wish and is married to the King of England, but she will soon find out the costs are high, not only to herself, but to those who surround her.  Including Meg.

I am a sucker for books about the Tudor dynasty, particularly Anne Boleyn.  The trouble with being fixated on historical stories is, well, history never changes, and neither do those stories.  It can become stale, trite.  Often authors exert little effort to breathe new life into a historical story, and instead regurgitate what we already know.  I am happy to say that his book was certainly not like that.  The focus of this book is of a somewhat fictionalized young woman who is a childhood friend to Anne.  Meg, this friend, is the filter through which we get Anne's story.  And within Anne's story, Meg has one of her own.

I really enjoyed the character of Meg, and am glad she took a more prominent role than Anne.  Clearly, the story of Anne Boleyn cannot be told without Anne in the forefront, but in this instance, it also could not be told without Meg.  I loved seeing how Meg's life fit into the grander scheme of things.

I felt like the book was well researched, and it flowed quite nicely.  Once again, here is a story from the annals of history, one which we all know, and yet it somehow felt new again.  Any fan of historical fiction, particular the Tudors and other British monarchy dynasties, will love this book.

I received a review copy of this book courtesy of the author.

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