The Grandmother’s Tale (Six Tudor Queens #3.5), by Alison Weir

Eight stars

In another of the short stories that layer themselves between her series of the Six Wives of Henry VIII, Alison Weir presents a short piece about the grandmother of Anne Boleyn. Margaret Boleyn has suffered much in the years after Anne’s execution, spending a great deal of time thinking about the treachery her own son brought upon the family and how Anne was forced to pay the ultimate price. Still living in Hever Castle, Margaret is visited by Archbishop Cranmer, who tells her one set of events, including that she will likely be able to stay. However, Margaret’s memories of her many years in the castle are interrupted when she receives word that Lord Cromwell has dispatched a number of the King’s men to attend her and prepare for her departure, as the Crown is taking the land for its own. With these mixed emotions, Margaret turns to her only remaining granddaughter, Mary. Returning from a visit to see the new queen, Mary shares that there is a great difference and that Anne will be greatly missed, even these five years on. Margaret is full of emotion and must decide what to do next, if she has any choice in the matter. An interesting piece that fills the gaps Weir purposely left for fans of her series. Recommended to those who have read and followed the series to date, as well as Tudor fans of all types.

Weir is a master of her art and there is little to say that is not covered therein. Her ability to weave a tale almost out of thin air is magical and she never is at a loss to share her ideas with readers. Pulling on much of the research she has done in relation to all things Tudor, Weir is able to come up with short stories like this—as well as full-length novels—that dazzle and keep the reader wanting more. Thankfully, Weir is never out of ideas and the array of publications would keep any Tudor fan busy for long stretches. This was a great piece, just the right length to read over a cuppa, but offers a great deal of information that keeps the reader thinking. I cannot wait to get my hands on more of these short stories, which will help pass the time until I can read the rest of the Six Wives series.

Kudos, Madam Weir, for another winner. You never seem to run out of things to say and I cannot thank you enough for sharing them so readily!

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: