Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review: The Curse of Anne Boleyn by C.C. Humphreys

Title: The Curse of Anne Boleyn
Author: C.C. Humphreys
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publish Date: May 1, 2015
Source: Netgalley

What's the Story?:

From "Years have gone by since the events surrounding the death of Anne Boleyn. But her missing hand and all that it represents to the dark world of 16th-century Europe still draws the powerful to seek it out. Jean Rombaud - the French executioner of the first novel - has grown old, both in age and spirit. Wearied by the betrayal of a son and the scorn of a wife, he fights in the seemingly never-ending siege of Siena. Meanwhile, Gianni Rombaud has forsaken everything his ageing father stands for and now kills heathen for the Inquisition in Rome. Then he is summoned by Cardinal Carafa himself. His masters no longer merely want his dagger in the hearts of Jews, they want the hand of the dead queen... But only three people know where it is buried, and one of them is Gianni's father..."

My Two Cents:

"The Curse of Anne Boleyn" is a re-release of the second book in C.C. Humphreys' French Executioner series about Jean Rombaud. Before reading this book, I did not realize that this book was the second in a series. I must tell you that had I known that, I would have read the first book first as I had a lot of questions about the characters in this book. The premise of this book is that when Anne Boleyn was buried, one of her hands was cut off. It's now been many years since her death and several people are now after the missing hand in this book.

I have read several other books by C.C. Humphreys at this point in time and many of the things that I liked about his previous books are also present in this book. Although this is billed as historical fiction, it can also be build it as historical action. In this book, the French executioner Jean Rombaud is now older. The book focuses on him as well as on his son, Gianni. There are also some sections about Princess Elizabeth, Anne Boleyn's daughter and her captivity. To me, these sections were more compelling in a lot of ways. I am a huge fan of Elizabeth I and it was interesting to me to see Humphreys' take on the events surrounding her mother who she barely knew's death.

Here is where you have to take into account the fact that I did not read the first book. I would've liked to see a little bit more development of the characters. The focus is really on the action of the book and therefore I feel like I didn't really get to know The characters well at all. I really wanted to know what their motivations were and what made them tick.

For other history lovers, I enjoyed that this book covers the siege of Siena, Italy, something that I did not know much about at all. The author uses a lot of historical detail to help the reader understand all of the different parties involved and that historical event. I always like learning something new! Again, I want to go back and read the first book in the series to see if it gives me any more background on any of the characters in this book. This book is great for readers who are looking for an action story with a little bit of mystery included.



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