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Summary

Perfect for anyone fascinated by the royal wedding, Netflix's The Crown, or Wolf Hall, this is a pitch-perfect reimagining of the romance and tragedy of Henry VIII and his six wives, told from multiple points of view by some of your favorite authors.

If you were one of King Henry VIII's six wives, who would you be? Would you be Anne Boleyn, who literally lost her head? Would you be the subject of rumor and scandal like Catherine Howard? Or would you get away and survive like Anna of Cleves?

Meet them and Henry's other queens - each bound for divorce or death - in this epic and thrilling novel that reads like fantasy but really happened. Watch spellbound as each of these women attempts to survive their unpredictable king as he grows more and more obsessed with producing a male heir. And discover how the power-hungry court fanned the flames of Henry's passions...and his most horrible impulses.

Whether you're a huge fan of all things Tudor or new to this jaw-dropping saga, you won't be able to get the unique voices of Henry and his wives - all brought to life by seven award-winning and best-selling authors - out of your head. This is an intimate look at the royals during one of the most treacherous times in history. Who will you root for, and who will you love to hate?

One of the NYPL top 10 best books of the year.

"Ambitious and exciting." (Bustle)

"A clever, feminist reimagining of one of English history's most fascinating moments." (Refinery29)

"These stories of love, lust, power and intrigue never fail to fascinate." (Shelf Awareness)

Who's who:

  • M. T. Anderson - Henry VIII
  • Candace Fleming - Katharine of Aragon, wife #1
  • Stephanie Hemphill - Anne Boleyn, wife #2
  • Lisa Ann Sandell - Jane Seymour, wife #3
  • Jennifer Donnelly - Anna of Cleves, wife #4
  • Linda Sue Park - Catherine Howard, wife #5
  • Deborah Hopkinson - Kateryn Parr, wife #6
©2018 Candace Fleming (P)2018 Listening Library

Critic reviews

"Seven talented YA authors and gifted narrators embrace the personalities, foibles, dreams, and philosophies of Henry VIII's unfortunate wives.... Together, these perspectives paint a personal, poignant, thoroughly engaging view of history." (AudioFile)

"Romance and intrigue dominate these accounts, as do the frustrations of being female in a time when 'no woman - not even a Queen - can...show her own power'..." (Shelf Awareness)

More from the same

What listeners say about Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All

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Frustrating listen

I tried to persevere with listening to this book but found myself despairing. Disappointed. If you are well read regarding the tudors I do not recommend. Not very well written. For me the authors style of writing in the first person just doesn’t work. Great idea but unfortunately not executed very well ( pardon the pun)

4 people found this helpful

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interesting slant

loved this. each queen in her own words. and henry puts his side after each queens story. it was good to see this from this more personal angle.

4 people found this helpful

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Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All

As a lover of history, I thought I knew most things about this famous group.
Delightedly this book proved me wrong.There has been details I missed and links not made until strung together side by side.

Listened to the whole thing in a day.
Loved the different take on viewpoints of each wife's life with an input of Henry's own at the end.

Worth a listen and your credit.

2 people found this helpful

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Too american

Typical American interpretation, full of melodrama and authors fantasy. Ok it nothing special. Some of the narration is also a bit peculiar

1 person found this helpful

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amazing book!

I loved this book although I thought it would be too long at first, it is broken down into chapters and you are given the time intervals too so you can plan a cheeky half hour /hour when you can. it was well read and easy to follow and was full of insight of each character x I was sad when it ended

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Enjoyable

Loved listening to this book. A view of what Henry's wives thought of him..

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Excellent Book

A really good 'read', excellent presentation of the female perspective of Tudor history. I would recommend this book.

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A different Take

It was a good listen and all of the readers did a fabulous job of bringing the six queens to life. I just wish Elliott could have sounded more robust, and not like a boy reading his school essay out loud to his class.

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loved it

brilliant narration. each queen was full of emotion and feeling. loved it definitely one of my favourites

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Brilliant

Loved it didnt want it to end
Will listen again and again fully recommend

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  • Sondra Speer
  • 19-03-20

Adequate

Riddled with mispronunciations of titles and place names. Best and most interesting as well as literarily creative was the story of Anne of Cleaves. The imagery in that sequence was brilliantly constructed. Sadly, the mispronunciations of names & nations was the worst in it. Accents were very fake.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Arleen
  • 24-04-19

Absolutely Love

This was one amazing historical piece. I love the Narrating Cast. I was fully immersed. If you love Netflix's Tudor series you will get great satisfaction from this novel. I've listened to it 3 times and love it.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Wahaasamaker
  • 20-05-18

I loved it

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well written and wonderfully performed. It is very entertaining.

14 people found this helpful

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  • M. Ward
  • 22-08-18

Fresh Presentation!

This was so uniquely presented and I loved it. Each wife told her story in first person. Henry gave his viewpoint on the rise and fall of each queen as well. Of course it could only hit the highlights (or lowlights, if you will), but even in a short story format, it managed to give a complete overview of their story.
I’ve read many many many books on the Tudors, and this one is presented differently from all the rest. Definitely worth a credit and a few hours of your time.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Stefan Filipovits
  • 28-12-19

Superb

I bought Fatal Throne on a Wednesday and had finished it by Saturday. Utterly compelling, Fatal Throne was nearly impossible to stop listening to. The speed at which you understand and sympathize with each of Henry VIII’s six wives is really quite impressive. After centuries of plays, tv series, films, and books it can be difficult to see Henry and his queens in a new light. Stubborn but pious Katherine of Aragon, clever and shrewd Anne Boleyn, kind and submissive Jane Seymour, fierce and independent Anne Of Cleves, vivacious and full of life Katherine Howard, wise and intelligent Catherine Parr all have their say here. I never expected to understand or root for Anne Boleyn. I never dreamed I could find a fair rationalization for the “crimes” of Cat Howard. Yet, in Fatal Throne each queen eloquently finds her voice and offers her opinions and views. It’s truly fascinating to me to see how each of the six either buckle under or rise above the political, religious, social, and sexual mores of the time. There’s triumph and tragedy as well as beauty and horror in each story and I simply couldn’t put it down. There’s strong feminist themes which I respected and appreciated but it’s also massively entertaining and rather illuminating. If you love history or historical women you’ll love Fatal Throne. While I think people familiar with Tudor history will get more out of it, I don’t think that it’s necessarily a prerequisite. I think anyone who loves history, appreciates a story with a strong female voice, or has a desire to see old stories in new ways will find something to love in Fatal Throne. Please give it a listen!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Connie Hahn
  • 24-08-18

Well Worth the Read!!

If you are like me and think you have read every Tudor book there has been and can't imagine there be something new, this is your book. This is not only a fresh new look but a joy to listen to. What a creative way to tell these women's stories. I would love for these authors to go even deeper into the women they wrote about. Thank you so much.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Gretel
  • 16-02-20

Shallow

The book is overly dramatic and shallow. It doesn't have any information that one could not have gleaned from a PBS special. Plus, so much time is spent on Catherine of Aragon that the coverage of the other wives resembles a high speed car chase.

3 people found this helpful

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  • A
  • 05-04-19

An interesting twist

I know this is a little weird but some of my favorite parts were King Henry explaining his choices.

3 people found this helpful

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  • jessica
  • 04-10-18

kept me listening

good read for Tudor fans.. narrators are good and stories are all told in a provocative way. I did not like Anne of of Cleve's in this book as much. the cadence of the narrators voice made it hard to listen to for long periods of time.. not that it was bad it just made her story seem drawn out because i would space out lol. Very entertaining read otherwise

5 people found this helpful

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  • lutisha Wilson
  • 16-08-18

Lovely!

Each narrator brought their characters to life. I simply could not stop listening! Loved it!

2 people found this helpful