Feb 192014
Review: Under These Restless SkiesUnder These Restless Skies by Lissa Bryan
Published by The Writer's Coffee Shop on Feb 20, 2014
Genres: Adult, Historical fiction, Paranormal
Format: eARC from Netgalley
, Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Will Somers has always thought himself unlovable. When he encounters a creature of myth and magic, he seizes the chance to finally have a wife and family of his own. Emma is a selkie—one of the immortal fae-folk of the sea—bound to Will by the magic of her kind, and eager to learn about life on land. She has to learn to adapt quickly to human customs, because Will is headed for the court of Henry VIII, to serve as the king’s fool. It’s a glittering, dangerous world, where a careless word can lead to the scaffold and the smallest of gestures is loaded with political implications. Anne Boleyn is charmed by Emma’s naïveté and soothing selkie magic and wants Emma for her own fool. Can Will protect his newfound love from the dangers that lurk in every shadow? Circa regna tonat: around the throne, the thunder rolls.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This is a fairly classic retelling of King Henry and Anne Boleyn from just before their marriage, to just after her death, told from the viewpoint of Will Somers, the king’s fool. There is one key difference: the fact that Will’s wife is a selkie.

While the addition of a selkie was unique, I didn’t find that it added a lot to the story. Yes, it made Emma naive and innocent, without any knowledge of politics and the evil facets of humanity, but other than that, there wasn’t much there. Emma willingly gave herself to Will, and there was never any conflict between them. While it was nice to see a couple that truly loved each other, it’s pretty boring to read about because nothing much happens.

I am a fan of Anne Boleyn stories, and this is a good addition to the genre. Anne is shown in a softer, less manipulative light, which is mainly due to Emma’s influence. It was nice to get a slightly difference perspective of the standard story, however this is very much a Tudor story, and not a selkie story.

  4 Responses to “Review: Under These Restless Skies”

  1. This is one of my favorite time periods to read about. Awesome review! I had never heard of this one, but will definitely be checking it out! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • This is one of my favourite time periods too. I randomly found this on Netgalley, and was happy once I started reading it.

  2. Interesting twist although my first thought is more selkie, less Boleyn!

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