A sweeping tale of sexual seduction and intrigue at the court of Henry VIII, At the Mercy of the Queen is a rich and dramatic debut historical about Madge Shelton, cousin and lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn.
At the innocent age of fifteen, Lady Margaret Shelton arrives at the court of Henry VIII and quickly becomes the confidante of her cousin, Queen Anne Boleyn. But she soon finds herself drawn into the perilous web of Anne’s ambition.
Desperate to hold onto the king’s waning affection, Anne schemes to have him take her guileless young cousin as mistress, ensuring her husband’s new paramour will owe her loyalty to the queen. But Margaret has fallen deeply in love with a handsome young courtier. She is faced with a terrible dilemma: give herself to the king and betray the love of her life or refuse to become his mistress and jeopardize the life of the her cousin, Queen Anne.
About The Author:
Anne Clinard Barnhill has been writing or dreaming of writing for most of her life. For the past twenty years, she has published articles, book and theater reviews, poetry, and short stories. Her first book, AT HOME IN THE LAND OF OZ, recalls what it was like growing up with an autistic sister. Her work has won various awards and grants. Barnhill holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Besides writing, Barnhill also enjoys teaching, conducting writing workshops, and facilitating seminars to enhance creativity. She loves spending time with her three grown sons and their families. For fun, she and her husband of thirty years, Frank, take long walks and play bridge. In rare moments, they dance.
I’m a HUGE fan of Historical fiction, especially those stories centered around the Tudor era and following Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, so I was super excited for the chance to review this new novel by Anne Clinard Barnhill. I am STILL reflecting on this novel! It was AWESOME! The book’s plot line is finely tuned with rich Historical detail, the characters are chiseled perfect and the intensity of emotions that flow through the story is absolutely incredible. Instantly swept away to another place in time, I had a fascinating time reading this story!
A novel that is centered around the love of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, this story will leave you with a feeling of intensity. Not a fast paced read, but one that you will finish quickly. I say this because you become so engrossed in the story, and all the scandalous twists and turns, and the mysteriousness of the interwoven story lines, that you’ll be on the last page before you realize it.
Lady Margaret Shelton, cousin and friend of the beautiful Queen Anne, is a truly wonderful character. I loved her addition to the story, as she fought between being forced into a marriage she didn’t want, and wanting to be with the man who stole her heart…a man that was below her in status. Between the Lady Margaret’s issues, and the troublesome woes of Queen Anne not being able to produce an heir for King Henry, this story took on a whole new meaning for me.
Anne turns to seduction and lies to capture the King’s eye and passion once again, putting Lady Margaret in the middle of a scandalous situation, leaving her no choice but to be at pure mercy of the Queen. I felt the inner turmoils of both of these women when the lies began to unfold. It was truly an incredible feeling!
Definitely recommending this novel to anyone who loves the Tudor Court and the novels of the Queen. A fresh new approach to Anne and her Kind, this is most definitely a 5 Book worthy novel and one that will be forever on my Historical fiction book shelf! I can’t wait for another novel like this from this amazingly talented author, so I can reflect on more of the depth filled history and the captivating characters! Well done, Ms. Barnhill!