Interesting perspective on the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn - seen through her eyes and the eyes of the palace confectioner. If you enjoy historical fiction, it's worth a read... but if you only want to read ONE book about the Boleyn years, "The Other Boleyn Girl" by Phillippa Gregroy is a superior novel.
It took me a while to get into this book & at the first I wasn't all that sure I would like it. The author made Ane Boleyn come across as such an egocentric, heartless shrew that I figured if she was really like that then it was no wonder she had her head lopped off! I decided to give it my 75 page test, meaning if it hasn't captured me by page 75 then it's done for. Amazingly enough, it did capture me around page 65. It was the character of Lucy, the King's confectioner, that hooked me. However, the hold didn't last as the bits about Anne were just so loathsome that I couldn't finish after all.
Patricia S. reviewed The Queen Of Subtleties: A Novel Of Anne Boleyn on
Helpful Score: 2
ugh! watch the capter titles VERY closely. The story jumps all round within a decade - without adding anything to the story except making the reader say "wait a minute..."
The story of the confectioner adds nothing to the plot nor does it fill in any background nor does the confectioner have any personality or characterization other than the insufferable crush she has on a young man who is probably gay.
Anne Boleyn was a fasinating person, but, all you see of her is her vanity, shallowness and lack of comprehension of anyone else other than how much they cater to her ego. All of her wit is used to come up with nasty monikers for the existing queen. This Anne Boleyn is strictly one dimensional, so, by the time King Henry says he is leaving her for Jane Seymor becuase she is "nice", you applaude King Henry's decision!
Even the upcoming war with Spain and the religious reformation are both seen as only an inconvience or as assistance to her cause. Both Woley's and More's politics are also seen as being all about her and only her.
The writing is great. This would make a great romance story, just drop the pretense of any history, give the characters more than one dimension each, correct the timeline. The author made a fasinating person into a Paris Hilton clone, except without the depth of character and depth of emotion as Paris Hilton. Yes, it is that bad.
I expected an in-depth look at Anne Boleyn, and I got vanity and smugness. The writing in this book really threw me off, especially the talk about the king or queen "partying", and the coarse language used by the queen. Written in too modern of terms, and not really interesting.
The book provides two points of view; one from a kitchen-maid, & the one of Queen Anne. The last two chapters from Anne's point of view were done exceptionally well, but the remaining ones too often lapsed into modern language.
I must admit, I do not know enough of confectionary to appreciate the chapters from the point of view of the kitchen-maid.
I am a freak for Tudor books, i read anything i can get my hands on, however, this book i did not like, at all! The dialogue was written in too modern a language which really detracted from the story for me. I also didn't care for the actual story and the character! Overall quite dissapointing, but that just my opinion!