* Copy courtesy of Hachette Australia *
Jane Seymour - The Haunted Queen by Alison Weir is the third novel in the Six Tudor Queens series, but just like the previous two, it can easily be read as a stand alone. The book begins in 1518, when Jane is just 10 years old, and takes us through her life, her stations at court, her relationship with Queen Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn, falling in love with King Henry VIII and Queen Anne's eventual demise.
Jane is haunted by Anne Boleyn's execution and is acutely aware of the precarious nature of her position at all times. She doesn't challenge Henry and the King seems to love her kind and gentle nature. Jane is a dutiful wife and Queen and works hard to restore the Princess Mary to her rightful place at court.
Jane's family are hungry for power, favour and positions making them no different from the Boleyns. Suffering several miscarriages, Jane is eventually able to give her husband the son he has yearned for - and broken with the Church for - although as we know, it will eventually cost Jane Seymour her life.
Exceptionally written, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this historical fiction account of Jane Seymour's life and didn't find it as provocative as Anne Boleyn - A King's Obsession. It's incredibly unusual for me to give a five star rating to two novels in a series back-to-back, but here it is. It might even be a first, and rightly so; Alison Weir is beginning to emerge as one of my favourite historical fiction authors.
My rating = *****