Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Review: To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Sandra Byrd

★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2

Book Source: I received a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Release Date: August 9th, 2011

Synopsis: To Die For, is the story of Meg Wyatt, pledged forever as the best friend to Anne Boleyn since their childhoods on neighboring manors in Kent. When Anne’s star begins to ascend, of course she takes her best friend Meg along for the ride. Life in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling at first, but as Anne’s favor rises and falls, so does Meg’s. And though she’s pledged her loyalty to Anne no matter what the test, Meg just might lose her greatest love—and her own life—because of it.  

Meg's childhood flirtation with a boy on a neighboring estate turns to true love early on. When he is called to follow the Lord and be a priest she turns her back on both the man and his God. Slowly, though, both woo her back through the heady times of the English reformation. In the midst of it, Meg finds her place in history, her own calling to the Lord that she must follow, too, with consequences of her own. Each character in the book is tested to figure out what love really means, and what, in this life, is worth dying for.

Though much of Meg’s story is fictionalized, it is drawn from known facts. The Wyatt family and the Boleyn family were neighbors and friends, and perhaps even distant cousins. Meg’s brother, Thomas Wyatt, wooed Anne Boleyn and ultimately came very close to the axe blade for it. Two Wyatt sisters attended Anne at her death, and at her death, she gave one of them her jeweled prayer book—Meg.

Review: When being asked to review this book I must admit I was a little hesitant in saying yes because the first thought that crossed my mind was “Here we go again, another Anne Boleyn novel. It’s going to be the same story but a different author.” However, I was pleasantly surprised that although it was the same story of Anne Boleyn it was told in a completely unique way. 

What made this novel unique and refreshing was how Sandra told Anne’s story through the eyes of her best friend and confidante, Meg Wyatt. I absolutely loved Meg’s character! What drew me in was her constant struggle between her love for the hansom Will Ogilvy and her devotion to Anne. Meg was in love with a man who believed he had been called by God to help translate and print the first English version of the Bible, which was considered heresy in the eyes of King Henry VIII. 

What I loved most about this book was how Sandra truly made this story her own. She captured another side of Anne Boleyn that most people refused to believe about her. She painted a beautiful picture of Anne as being a strong confidant woman who happened to fall in love with a man who had narcissistic behavior, which caused her downfall. Sandra’s new rendition of this story made me fall in love with Anne Boleyn all over again. I enjoyed getting to know Meg Wyatt and her struggles through life. This is a remarkable new twist on Anne’s story and I enjoyed every minute of it! Highly recommended to all Tudor enthusiasts out there!

If you would like a chance to read Sandra Byrd's novel To Die For make sure you stop by tomorrow for a chance to win a copy!


  1. Interesting way of telling Anne's story.

  2. I cannot wait to read this book! I love all things Tudors and this one really sounds good! thanks for the review.

  3. I love Anne, but she wasn't the whole Tudor World. Reading about all the people that supported her makes her more real to me. This book sounds awesome!

  4. I have been hearing great things about this book, so I'm glad to know you enjoyed it too!

  5. I reaaaaalllly want to read this. I love different viewpoints in the Tudor world. Like Allison, Anne wasn't the whole Tudor world. Even though Anne is my favorite historical person I still love reading other viewpoints. Great review!