Friday, February 17, 2012

Historical Fiction Virtual Tour Stop: At the Mercy of the Queen by Anne Clinard Barnhill

Title: At the Mercy of the Queen
Author: Anne Clinard Barnhill
Publisher: St. Martins Griffin
Publish Date: January 3, 2012
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a fiction fan.
  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You like really vivid characters.
What's the Story?:

From "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 her cousin, Queen Anne."

My Two Cents:

Okay guys, now before you shake your head and say something along the lines of "Not the Tudors again," just listen. I myself have been suffering from Tudor fatigue myself and while this does not mean that I'm at the point where I will not read anymore books about Henry the VIII myself (I love it still but some of the books have been a little... well... blah). If you are feeling that way at all, let At the Mercy of the Queen remind you why so many of my fellow historical fiction fans fell in love with the Tudor court (myself included) in the first place! Seriously! This book has everything we loved and so much more!

At The Mercy of the Queen packs a punch with the intrigue and secretiveness of the Tudor court. There's also a great cast of characters. Madge Shelton is a little naive when she first comes to court but she very quickly catches on to what she needs to do in order to rise to the top of the court. And of course, she has a little help from the infamous Anne Boleyn, who just happens to be Madge Shelton's cousin. While Anne Boleyn has been at the focus of a great many books recently, I never get tired of reading about her. I especially like Barnhill's portrayal of her in the book. I think you really get a good sense of how meticulous Anne had to be in order to try to hold on to the throne as long as she could. You can almost see the wheels turning in her head throughout the book. I love it.

Another thing that I loved is that the author is actually related to Madge Shelton, the main character. I thought that was really, really cool. Madge herself is another great character. Madge's transformation from naive girl to a lady of the court. It was so fun following that journey!

This is definitely a book that I enjoyed savoring in order to fully enjoy the grandeur of the time. Ah, this was a great book to just get lost in!

Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Tuesday, January 3rd
Book Highlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, January 5th
Review at Broken Teepee

Monday, January 9th
Author Interview at The Maiden's Court

Tuesday, January 10th
Author Guest Post at Broken Teepee

Friday, January 13th
Author Guest Post at Passages to the Past

Monday, January 16th
Review at The Broke and the Bookish

Wednesday, January 18th
Author Guest Post at Tanzanite's Castle Full of Books

Friday, January 20th
Review at Tina's Book Review

Monday, January 23rd
Author Interview at Reading the Past
Author Guest Post at Bippity Boppity Book

Wednesday, January 25th
Review at Bippity Boppity Book

Friday, January 27th
Review at Tanzanite's Castle Full of Books

Wednesday, February 1st
Review at From the TBR Pile

Friday, February 3rd
Review at A Musings Review

Monday, February 6th
Author Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, February 8th
Review at Unabridged Chick

Friday, February 10th
Author Guest Post at A Musings Review

Monday, February 13th
Author Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick 

Friday, February 17th
Review at A Bookish Affair

Monday, February 20th
Author Guest Post at CelticLady's Reviews

Wednesday, February 22nd
Author Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Friday, February 24th
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Monday, February 27th
Review at A Bookish Libraria

Wednesday, February 29th
Review at Luxury Reading

Monday, March 5th
Review at Reviews by Molly

Wednesday, March 7th
Review at The True Book Addict

Friday, March 9th
Author Guest Post at The True Book Addict 

Important Links:

Tour Schedule:
Link to Anne Barnhill's Website:
Anne Barnhill on Twitter:!/acbarnhill
Anne Barnhill on Facebook:!/acbarnhill
Twitter Event Hashtag: #MercyOfTheQueenVIrtualTour



  1. I have been having a bit of Tudor fatigue as well but there are so many great books about this time that I just keep reading them. This looks like another good one and the fact that you gave it 4 1/2 stars tells me I need to add it to my TBR list!

    1. Haha, I definitely keep reading all of the Tudor books but this one is really something special!

  2. I haven't read anything about the Tudors so this one sounds good to me!


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