My Lady Viper
When Anne Boleyn falls to the executioner's ax on a cold spring morning in 1536, Anne Seymour knows her family faces peril. As alliances shift and conspiracies multiply, the Seymours plot to establish their place in the treacherous court of King Henry VIII, where a courtier's fate is decided by the whims of a hot-tempered and fickle monarch.
Lady Anne's own sister-in-law, Jane Seymour, soon takes Anne Boleyn's place as queen. But if Jane cannot give King Henry a son, history portends that she, too, will be executed or set aside--and her family with her. In desperation, Lady Anne throws herself into the intoxicating intrigue of the Tudor court, determined to ensure the success of the new queen's marriage and the elevation of the Seymour family to a more powerful position. Soon her machinations earn her a reputation as a viper in a den of rabbits. In a game of betrayal and favor, will her family's rise be worth the loss of her soul?
Revised edition: This edition of My Lady Viper includes editorial revisions.
My Lady Viper is 452 pages of pure court intrigue set around the Tudor era, King Henry VIII’s reign. It’s house Seymour vs. house Howard in an epic, backstabbing, plotting, and vengeful journey to become a favorite in Henry’s eyes. Which house will reign supreme? It was truly interesting to see the era through Anne Seymour’s eyes. Her path to become well situated in court, earns her the nicknames of Hell and Viper.
There is so much going on in this story that it’s hard to put into one just one review. Court would not be a place that I would love to live in. Maybe just to be a spectator. Friends become enemies and everyone is out for themselves. Lady Anne definitely has her fair share of enemies and her plotting with her husband make them a formidable duo. However, amongst all the killing (on King Henry’s part), and Anne’s own ability to come off as cold and unfeeling, some humanity shines through. It’s as if it was required to be jaded in order to live, or keep one’s head, that is. Lady Anne’s personality was pretty much summed up in her inner monologues and her fear really shone through.
“I squeezed my eyes shut, again trying to rid my mind of the image of Anne’s lifeless eyes, reminding myself that her death had been necessary in order to move our own positions forward. No matter how vile such a thought was.”
The imagery that the story painted was very vivid and real. One comes to mind and that is the symbol of the apple. Yes, apple. It first started with Anne stating that Henry could crush a person’s head like it was a cooked apple. Several times after that the mention of apples held some sort of sordid fascination for me. It was never mentioned in a light tone. Look for it when you read this story and you will see what I mean.
I often had conflicting emotions concerning Lady Anne. Does one sympathize with a conniving woman? Or sympathize with the fact that she is indeed a woman in trying times that had to protect herself and her family? I did admire her at times and abhorred her in others. I loved it. For being so long of a story, I still read this one quickly. It is a definite page turner for sure.
*I received a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads.*