Book review: Boleyn: Tudor Vampire

Boleyn: Tudor Vampire
by Cinsearae S.
Published 2010
ISBN: 1451559496
Review copy provided by the author

Review by Pet Leopard

Interesting perspective on the time period and very original. From the point of view of Anne Boleyn, the author stayed faithful to first person perspective. In such a way, we were able to see the world as she saw it.

The quite ‘accidental’ messing with history seemed like only a footnote. The hanging of the Queen was used as an effective plot device, whose falsity did not get in the way of the main story.

The process of transformation of the Queen from human to vampire is one item of contention. The message was put forth that by simply having doubts in one’s faith at the moment of death is enough to transform a good Christian woman into a fiendish she-devil creature. One moment of renunciation of faith under circumstances of complete hopelessness is enough to wipe out a whole life of good? That is the one item in the story that I have trouble with.

I could get by that particular ‘chink in the armor’ by realizing one fact that was true to history. The human version of Anne did a great many things to hurt and backstab countless numbers of other people in order to get to the position that she achieved. The author’s one point of unbelievability was that Anne never really wanted to be the Queen.

Indeed, if I were to avoid the issue of good deeds being alleviated by an executionary renunciation of faith, I am given to believe that some of that evil that finally changed Anne had, indeed, quite possibly existed before she died. The evil that was within her was changed to a more powerful form, no doubt, after she was transformed. However, the devil does not have the power to create evil from goodness. He can only build on the evil that is already there. Enough said about that…

It is true that Henry was the true villain of the story. However, history tells us that his court of advisors was just as guilty. The issue of producing a male heir became paramount to cementing the power of the Lancastrian Tudor family. The house of York needed to be kept down. If the male Tudor line ended with Henry VIII, the shift of power could swing dangerously backwards. So, clearly corruption and evil were already in place in Henry’s court, even before Anne came on the scene.

The fact that she was wronged is an issue that nobody would question. Her mission in the afterlife, however, was somewhat one-sided. Granted, that she had legitimate cause to kill the people who wronged her, she did not have much of a plan beyond that.

I don’t believe that there was enough of an effort on her part to further her daughter Elizabeth to get to the throne. Nor did it occur to her that by killing, controlling and manifesting her undead power, she might be thought of as a witch. Hence, Elizabeth’s position as Anne’s daughter would be threatened in the matter of her possible ascension to Queen.

That having been said, the power behind the throne was just not there after Jane’s death. Jane herself escaped the evil by dying young. Probably that was true enough. Anne’s revenge was properly not geared toward her.

Reading about how the officials of Henry’s court go down, one by one, was like watching a stack of dominoes go down, one after the other. A certain sense of justice was put into motion, which made the story more a case of cause and effect, rather than a historical shift of power. Very effectively done, may I add…

The reader gets to know the good qualities of Anne, which most likely existed while she was young and innocent. It is very much a possibility that she became evil as a product of the way that she was brought up, trained and her placement in society. Indeed, just surviving in Henry’s court was a matter of having an edge over everybody else. Clearly, Anne never achieved that edge.

She never quite realized though, that everything that happened to her was beyond her control. No matter how many people that she avenged herself upon, it just created more evil, more innocent victims and made it more difficult for her to achieve her ultimate goal.

The re-creation of Anne at the end of the story as she was killed a second time was marvelously done. She was purged of whatever evil was within her. Just by letting go of her anger and letting history take its course, she was able to achieve what she truly wanted.

She finally was able to embrace true inner peace and reconciliation with her family. History took its course and all of Henry’s evil with its poisonous effects were gradually reversed. Elizabeth became one of England’s most powerful queens, one who truly embraced the best qualities of her mother, Anne Boleyn.

Good work by the author, in bringing the story roundabout from the supernatural to history as we know it.

Overall Grade: “B”

One Reply to “Book review: Boleyn: Tudor Vampire”

  1. Overall your review was intelligent and thorough. We have to remember however horror novels are not textbooks of theology. In Coppola’s 1992 Dracula adaptation with Gary Oldman, Vlad renounces God also and is rendered a vampire. I found Rae’s novel to be a delightful rendering of what was known previously as “alternate history” and maybe not true to the actual facts. That’s why it’s called “fiction” In all of human history we may know only one ten billionth of what actually went on before us. Neither Jesus Christ nor Abraham Lincoln were vampire hunters, yet a movie maker and an author cast them in this role. My own personal review is that this book is a stand-out among the many historical retellings; the pros far outweighing the cons.

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