Cover Image: In the Shadow of Queens

In the Shadow of Queens

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Member Reviews

This is a brilliant series.  This book is a collection of stories about the Tudors but in a way I wasn't expecting. It follows people that lived in the shadows of the queen's and tells their story from their perspectives. 

I particularly enjoyed the authors notes that clarified what was truth, what was assumed from evidence and what was put together for fiction.
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A collection of short stories based around the people connected to the six wives of Henry VIII & his court.
These stories read as non-fiction blended with fiction. I loved reading about the people forgotten in time - the few known facts cleverly blended into an account of their lives.
The only things that marred my enjoyment of this book is that a short story just doesn’t give enough time to get to know the characters & I really wish I’d had this as a ‘proper’ book to read a story, Google the facts, & digest before reading another story at a later date (especially as they are not  all in chronological order - most stories revisited & overlapped in places). As I had a NetGalley e-copy I read it cover to cover in one go & it really doesn’t do it justice!
4/5 stars
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In the Shadows of Queens is an eclectic mix of short story concerning those who dwelt amongst the Tudor court of Henry VIII. I say eclectic because none of these stories are similar, although the royal figures that move around them are well known.

I've not read all of Alison Weir's six queens series. I have, for many years, been rather 'Tudor'd' out. There are so many more exciting periods to write about, and  it frustrates me that publishers won't look beyond the Tudors. Well, I'm pleased to say that this collection of short stories has reignited my interest in the period by revealing the unknown lives of others, much less well known characters - something that greatly appeals to me - and which publishers should be looking to do. Not the oft repeated stories of kings and queens, but the other 'Tudor' characters.

I enjoyed every single story. The attention to detail is staggering.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my review copy.
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In the Shadow of Queens by Alison Weir - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. Thanks so much to @headlinebooks & @netgalley for my review copy!

As I mentioned in my last post, while I’ve read all of her prior historical novels I’ve not yet had the chance to dip into Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series, so it was lovely to get a feel for them with this collection of short stories, some of which were published online to accompany the longer novels.

In the Shadow of Queens follows women whose lives have been shaped in some way by the Tudor Queens, their rises and their falls. We join a modern group on an Anne Boleyn walking tour of the Tower of London, Jane Boleyn, the unfortunate Lady Rochford from her marriage to the Queen’s brother to her execution as part of the downfall of Katharine Howard, and all of the various people thoroughly history who have disturbed the grave of Katherine Parr. Some of these stories are short and simply give an alternative perspective, interesting if you’re a fan of the period with an in depth knowledge of all the players, and some tell stories of love and loss, murder and secrets that would appeal to any reader that I really, really enjoyed.

Short story collections are not usually my thing, but if you’re a fan of Tudor historical fiction and want something easy to dip in and out of this autumn, I think In the Shadow of Queens is a lovely option.
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I was captivated from the first page! I have not read the Six Queens series but have read many stories about each Queen.  I loved this collection of short stories about the people behind those Queens and their everyday struggles and what life was like in the Tudor Court.  I had heard of some of them but the majority I hadn't so found it extremely interesting and somewhat disturbing in some instances.  Alison Weir has combined fiction and non-fiction and once again has done it so well.  Her writing brings each character to life so richly.  Her knowledge of the Tudor period outstanding and I look forward to reading the Six Queens series.
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In The Shadow Of Queens: Tales from the Tudor Court is a collection of short stories giving a fictional insight into the lives and experiences of key figures at the courts of the six Queens of Henry VIII.

I’m usually a huge fan of historical fiction, particularly anything involving the Tudors, but unfortunately this one just didn’t work for me. 

I prefer historical stories to have a stronger basis in actual events and the historical record, but these seemed to be largely invention (i.e.: the tale of Margery Otwell) and a lot of them involved too much of a supernatural element for my liking (seeing ghosts and the power to predict deaths).

Each of the stories has a different tone and voice and some are quite good, including Princess Mary and Anne Boleyn’s grandmother; however, some (especially the two in the Anne Boleyn section) felt almost cheesy and fan fiction-like.

In The Shadow Of Queens is certainly an interesting concept, as we always seem to get the perspective of the Queens themselves and not the background characters, and Alison Weir is clearly passionate about the subject. 

I’m sure many readers and fans of this genre will find it fun, insightful and immersive, but it just wasn’t to my personal taste.
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Behind every ill-fated Tudor Queen is a plethora of fascinating stories about the shadowy people who lingered on the periphery of court life but whose connection, with the women who had the misfortune to be married to Henry VIII, is as fascinating as the lives of the Tudor Queens themselves.

Beautifully presented with its colourful Tudoresque endpapers we are treated to a potted history of the six wives of Henry VIII before starting on a series of fascinating short stories which take us from the golden possibility of the short life of Arthur, Prince of the Roses, right through to the sad, and rather tragic, end to the life of Henry's last Queen, Katharine Parr.

For any lovers of Tudor fiction In the Shadow of Queens is an absolute gem and if you have followed the author's comprehensive series of novels about the Six Tudor Queens then I am sure you will find much to enjoy in this addition to the Tudor series. This compilation of short stories, and novellas, enhance the series and bring the Tudor court alive in fascinating detail, adding little extra snippets of information you never knew you needed to know about  those who hovered on the edge of Tudor court life.

In the Shadow of Queens now completes the mammoth task the author set of completing six Tudor Queen novels in six years. There is no doubt that Alison Weir's passion, determination and undeniable expertise has given a new voice to the six women whose lives were dominated by a King, whose irascible moods swung, from peevish belligerence, to violent malevolence, and whose lives, little they knew it, were in danger from the moment they accepted the title of Tudor Queen.
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I would accurately give this book a 4.5 because I enjoyed some of the short stories more than others. The stories reflect historically accurate accounts of people who lived in Tudor times around the court of Henry VIII and his wives. The author is a historian who has researched into some names and events and created a fictional story around them. I found that the Tudor period of Henry VIII came to life in these short stories.
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Behind every great king stands a queen. And behind every queen, the whole court watches on. Over the years of his reign, six different women took their place beside King Henry VIII of England as his wife and queen. But the real stories of the six Tudor queens belong to those who lived among them. Played out in glittering palaces and whispering courts, these are tales of the people who loved and served these women, and those who lied and betrayed them. Collected together for the first time, In the Shadow of Queens reveals thirteen startling stories from the Tudor court, told by those at the very heart of that world. 

As someone who has always been fascinated and obsessed with anything Tudor. This book had me hooked. This book is a collection of stories about the Tudors but in a way, I wasn't expecting. It follows people that lived in the shadows of the queen's and tells their story from their perspectives. I particularly enjoyed the author's notes that clarified what was the truth, what was assumed from evidence and what was put together for fiction.

This is a first for me by the author and one I enjoyed and would read more of their work. The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.
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I really liked this collection of short stories from the Six Queens series. It boarded the line of fiction and non-fiction and it showed me figures from the court i had not heard of before. Alison Weir's writing was as great as ever and i loved how the stories were from such as wide range of voices and time periods. I enjoyed this book a lot and thought it was a fantastic way to finish up the series.
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Another triumph! 
It was really refreshing to read shorter stories, mini novellas within a larger novel. 
My obsession with The Tudors and Alison Weir to make these characters come to life continues. 
Facts and fiction perfectly linked and a pleasure to read. I loved it! 
Thank you for this copy to read
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It's somehow poetic that Alison Weir was responsible for my love of all things Tudor and now it feels a bit emotional to have finished the series of six books on each #tudorqueen. This compilation of the short stories to accompany the series helped me cling on just a little bit longer to the magic of the Tudors and also it padded out a few behind the scenes details. It tied up a few loose ends...what happened to Mary Seymour, what happened to Katharine Parr's remains, what exactly was Lady Jane Rochford thinking when she gave evidence against her husband and sister in law for the most heinous crimes? I'm fascinated by it and I truly think anyone would be caught up in the intrigue of Henry VIII's court. 

Thank you @netgalley for this advance copy which is due out on September 30th 2021.
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3.5 stars

This is a collection of short stories and novellas from Alison Weir's 6-book series of the wives of Henry VIII. They flesh out the court and the lives primarily of the women in it. Fittingly, for a series that looked at queens, this collection is almost entirely focused on the women of Tudor nobility.

There are the stories of women at court, watching - and often trying to avoid being dragged into - all the drama. There is a story about Katherine Parr's daughter by her second marriage, and chilling tale about a woman who has her abusive husband killed to marry her lover. Key characters from history who are often ignored or made secondary characters get the spotlight - Jane Boleyn and Margaret Douglas.

I think it would be hard to find someone brought up in the English school system who doesn't know the basic history here, and a lot of the stories cover the same ground (with some extensions or reductions.) They are from different perspectives, but the plot itself doesn't have any tension because you know what's going to happen. Most of these stories were released individually as ebooks or included in the main series' editions. I think they might have been a bit more engaging like that - read in bursts.

They aren't the happiest of stories. Being focused on women, a lot die in childbirth. Being people of the 16th century, a lot die of illness. Accusations of treason abound and people lose loved ones, even if they're lucky enough to survive. It's interesting, but not happy. And the many deathly endings can make it feel a bit abrupt at times, because there isn't really closure for these people - they just die.
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This book has left me aching for more! I’ve only recently got into HF from the Tudor period, and now I am obsessed!

I loved that this was a collection of short stories, you get all the action from each plotline in a relatively short timeframe, which I enjoyed. My favourites from the book are The Chateau of Briis, The Curse of the Hungerfords, The Princess of Scotland, The Wicked Wife and The Queen’s Child. I was enthralled with each story and enjoyed seeing events from each individual’s perspective. It was also helpful to have the section at the start explaining a bit about each of Henry VIII’s wives, as well as what is truth, based on truth, and pure fiction.

The author’s ability to portray the inner thoughts and emotions of the characters really bonds you to them and makes it an immersive read. 

I haven’t yet read Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series, but I will now, they shall be my next book purchases! I will also read each of these short stories again as they coincide with each book, is it a bit nerdy of me to say that makes me very excited with anticipation?!

Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publisher Headline for the e-arc to review.
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As someone who has always been fascinated and obsessed with anything Tudor. This book had me hooked. 

This book is a collection of stories about the Tudors but in a way I wasn't expecting. It follows people that lived in the shadows of the queen's and tells their story from their perspectives. 

I particularly enjoyed the authors notes that clarified what was truth, what was assumed from evidence and what was put together for fiction. 

The story that struck me the most was the last, I had no idea the history that followed Katherine Parrs death, and I am already planning a visit to Sudeley Castle. 

If you enjoy English History or Tudors, make sure you give this a read!
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I truly loved this book. The start of the book is a recap of the Queens of Henry the eighth. Then there is a short story about each of the Queens. I haven’t read the full books but I will definitely be reading them in the near future. I  just loved being transported back in time to how they lived. If you love the Tudor period or royalty then you will love this.
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I really enjoyed this book.  It was a great storyline with excellent characters.  I would highly recommend this book as it was a great read.
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Anne Boleyn was my least favourite queen from the Tudor Queens series but in this book I liked her back story the best. I really like Alison Weir's writing style and this book doesn't disappoint.
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In the Shadow of Queens - Alison Weir gives the reader an alternative viewpoint of some of the possible characters that may have been served alongside Henry the eighth's wives.

The individual stories all seem to have a different tone, one or two are written using a vast amount of historical language whereas others are plainly written. 
I particularly loved reading about Anne of Cleeves and her journey to become Henry's very short-lived spouse. 
The stories are incredibly well written and Weir is a master of historical fiction.
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I have read all of the 6 wives of Henry V111  books and enjoyed them all massively. I missed the fact that this book is made up of the short stories that had been released to accompany the main stories. I had purchased and read some of these short stories over the years and so there were only 2 stories that I had not already read. This is the only reason I have the book 4 stars. The 2 stories that were new to me where as usual brilliant and this complication makes a good accompanying read to the main stories.
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