Author: Wendy J. Dunn
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 7th September 2014
Book Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
A Queen fights for her life.
A King denies his heart and soul.
A girl faces her true identity.
All things must come to an end—all things but love.
The Light in the Labyrinth, a young adult novel, depicts the lives of women in the patriarchal society of the Tudors, a time when aristocratic families commonly traded them for favour and status. Told from the perspective of a teenage Katherine Carey, niece of Anne Boleyn, this is a story of a girl who becomes a woman in the court of Henry VIII, the bloody tyrant remembered so well by history.
Unhappy at home with her mother, who has remarried, Kate receives permission to go to court to attend her royal aunt. In the past, Kate idolized her aunt from a distance; now given a place amongst her aunt’s trusted women, she becomes an eyewitness to the intrigue and heartache of Anne Boleyn’s final months as queen.
Most of you know I'm a huge Tudor fan and having just walked many of the places I've been reading about in historical fiction for years it gives a new level of 'feeling' to my reading. I found The Light in the Labyrinth to be a well written blending of historical fact and imagination and I think the author's notes clarify that Wendy Dunn's imaginings are indeed plausible.
We follow Catherine (Kate) Carey, daughter of Mary Boleyn and niece of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's 2nd wife as she joins her Aunt Nan at court. Whilst the painting of Anne Boleyn may not be as many of us view her, I found it quite sweet to see her through Kate's adoring and naive eyes.
Kate quickly matures as she's confronted with not only the reality of her birth but her Aunt's fall from favour, as powerful men like Thomas Cromwell conspire to bring about the Queen's downfall. I love and crave more detail but remembering the target audience, there's enough political intrigue and court treachery to satisfy a Tudor enthusiast without overwhelming someone new to the period.
The Light in the Labyrinth only covers the last few months of Anne Boleyn's life and not a lot happens as such but I found it a quick, enjoyable read. What surprised me, given how much Tudor fiction I've read, was the emotion of the Queen's final days in the tower, accompanied by loyal Kate and the 'care' of Anne Boleyn following her execution.
Wendy J. Dunn is an Australian writer who has been obsessed by Anne Boleyn and Tudor History since she was ten-years-old. She is the author of two Tudor novels: Dear Heart, How Like You This?, the winner of the 2003 Glyph Fiction Award and 2004 runner up in the Eric Hoffer Award for Commercial Fiction, and The Light in the Labyrinth, her first young adult novel.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, Wendy is married and the mother of three sons and one daughter—named after a certain Tudor queen, surprisingly, not Anne.
Wendy tutors at Swinburne University in their Master of Arts (Writing) program. She also works as a literature support teacher at a primary school.
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Giveaway ends 16th December and winner will be announced on my blog. Good luck everyone!