cover image Queen B: The Story of Anne Boleyn, Witch Queen

Queen B: The Story of Anne Boleyn, Witch Queen

Juno Dawson. Penguin Books, $18 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-14-313834-1

Secret magic, forbidden love, and courtly intrigue abound in this passionate and richly rendered sapphic historical fantasy, a prequel to Dawson’s HMRC series. The year is 1536 and Queen Anne Boleyn is dead, beheaded by vicious, fickle Henry VIII. From there, the story flashes back to 10 years earlier, when Grace Fairfax, a newly made lady for whom joining the court of Queen Catherine means an escape from her much older husband, arrives at the palace knowing she must at all costs hide the gifts that give her control of the elements. But Grace soon finds there are more women like her than she could have imagined, foremost among them the beguiling Lady Anne, whose coven gathers power in secret at court. As Anne’s influence grows and her circle of ladies’ with it, the splendor and excitement soon sour, and a tangle of unrequited loves and bitter betrayals puts the entire coven at risk. In the palace the walls have ears: witchfinders are abroad, backed by powerful enemies. This taste of the founding lore of Her Majesty’s Royal Coven will delight series fans and stands well enough on its own to draw in newcomers as well. Dawson leaves readers wanting more. Agent: Katelyn Dougherty, Paradigm Talent Agency. (July)