Tuesday, 5 April 2016

My Lady Viper by E Knight

Title: My Lady Viper
Series: Tales of the Tudor Court (#1)
Author: E Knight
From: Netgalley
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: 30th June 2015
Challenges: 2016 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2016 Blogger Shame Challenge
Links: Goodreads - Amazon

Since saving her from certain ruin at the hands of the Earl of Surrey, Edward Seymour has earnt the devotion of his wife Anne. But Anne is as much an asset to Edward as she is a wife, and her skill at playing court intrigues has earnt her the name of viper. Anne is a flesh and blood woman, and even though she loves and desires her husband, she can't help but be drawn to another man, though she knows it's wrong.

Hopefully no one thinks there are any spoilers in this review, but as events are based on history I don't fully think some of the plot points count as spoilers.

My Lady Viper spans the time between Anne Boleyn's excecution and the death of Henry VIII, though it mostly focuses on the reign of Jane Seymour as royal consort. Actually I thought the story after Jane's death was a little bit rushed, each of Henry's last three Queens seemed to rush by, even though there still seemed to be a lot going on.

On a completely random side note I was binge watching The Tudors on Netflix just before reading My Lady Viper so all I could picture were the actors for Edward Seymour, Henry Howard & Anne Stanhope/Seymour. It made for an interesting read!

I loved Anne as a character. She was a strong woman, and even though she was a little haunted by her past, and showed weakness in a couple of other regards, those things made her that bit more human. Knight took the stance that this Anne had a lot to do with what was going on behind the scenes, particularly for things like the downfalls of three of Henry's Queens (Anne Boleyn, Anne of Cleves & Catherine Howard).

The relationship between Edward and Anne was a little strange at times. There was a mutual respect, attraction and maybe even love between them, and yet there were some things that coloured their relationship, like infidelity. It was an interesting take on these two characters, who were at the end of the day, important historical figures (Edward became Lord Protector for King Edward VI after Henry VIII's death).

Anne Stanhope/Seymour is always a character who has interested me, and it was good to see a take on her as opposed to the other popular characters. There were actually some really interesting views taken in this book. For the most part Anne seemed to think favourably of Anne Boleyn, at the same time as being confidante and sister-in-law to Jane Seymour. It's not a view often taken and I actually found it quite believable.

This was a good and interesting read!