Monday, December 1, 2014

The Light in the Labyrinth by Wendy J. Dunn (Book Review & Giveaway)

Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Publication.Date  September 7th 2014
Published By:  Metropolis Ink
AuthorWendy J. Dunn

The Light in the Labyrinth on Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:

A Queen fights for her life.
A King denies his heart and soul.
A girl faces her true identity.
All things must come to an end—all things but love.

The Light in the Labyrinth, a young adult novel, depicts the lives of women in the patriarchal society of the Tudors, a time when aristocratic families commonly traded them for favour and status. Told from the perspective of a teenage Katherine Carey, niece of Anne Boleyn, this is a story of a girl who becomes a woman in the court of Henry VIII, the bloody tyrant remembered so well by history.

Unhappy at home with her mother, who has remarried, Kate receives permission to go to court to attend her royal aunt. In the past, Kate idolized her aunt from a distance; now given a place amongst her aunt’s trusted women, she becomes an eyewitness to the intrigue and heartache of Anne Boleyn’s final months as queen.

I am always apprehensive when picking up a book with the young adult crowd as the target audience. Part of this is because, unfortunately, I am no longer considered a young adult. In retrospect, when I was a young adult, this classification of books did not have much of an attraction to me in the least. So when I picked up Wendy’s latest book, The Light in the Labyrinth, the reader will forgive me if I was more than a little skeptical as to if I would enjoy the book. What initially peaked my interest in this book was that Wendy J. Dunn had gained a solid reputation from a previous piece of historical fiction titled Dear Heart, How Like You This? This previous book won the Glyph Fiction Award for best adult fiction and was the runner-up in the Eric Hoffer Award for Commercial Fiction. The Light in the Labyrinth is Wendy’s first venture into the young adult category, and based on her previous reputation I felt I might be in for an unexpected treat.

The Light in the Labyrinth is a historical fiction tale of the downfall of Anne Boleyn as seen through the eyes of her niece, Katherine Carey (Kate). For those not familiar, Anne Boleyn was the Queen of England from 1533-1536 and the second wife of King Henry VIII. Her tragic story has been speculated on for generations sparking historical controversy amongst many experts. Wendy utilizes her creative license and talent to tell Anne’s story from an innocent and unique perspective as Kate attends to her aunt, whom she idolizes, through the final days of this powerful story. While Kate is attempting to ascertain the situation with her beloved aunt, she also finds herself in the midst of many typical struggles that a young girl may experience such as stepparents, love, loss, betrayal, identity, and self-discovery.

In reading this book the audience will find themselves being drawn into the story through the colorful and intricate writing that is rarely found in a young adult novel. Though most readers begin the book having a general idea of how the story will ultimately end because of the historical ties in the story, the ending will still evoke emotions in the audience causing the reader to feel the pain of the characters. Multiple times throughout the story I had to remind myself that this was a young adult novel, though the writing and story is still perfectly suited to a young adult audience.

I cannot comment enough on how impressed I was with the writing and attention to detail represented in this book and would recommend it to any reader that appreciates a well-written book, regardless of their age.
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About the Author
03_Wendy J. Dunn Author

Wendy J. Dunn is an Australian writer who has been obsessed by Anne Boleyn and Tudor History since she was ten-years-old. She is the author of two Tudor novels: Dear Heart, How Like You This?, the winner of the 2003 Glyph Fiction Award and 2004 runner up in the Eric Hoffer Award for Commercial Fiction, and The Light in the Labyrinth, her first young adult novel.

While she continues to have a very close and spooky relationship with Sir Thomas Wyatt, the elder, serendipity of life now leaves her no longer wondering if she has been channeling Anne Boleyn and Sir Tom for years in her writing, but considering the possibility of ancestral memory. Her own family tree reveals the intriguing fact that her ancestors – possibly over three generations – had purchased land from both the Boleyn and Wyatt families to build up their own holdings. It seems very likely Wendy’s ancestors knew the Wyatts and Boleyns personally.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Wendy is married and the mother of three sons and one daughter—named after a certain Tudor queen, surprisingly, not Anne.

Wendy tutors at Swinburne University in their Master of Arts (Writing) program. She also works as a literature support teacher at a primary school.

For more information please visit Wendy J. Dunn's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, December 1
Review & Giveaway at Bookish

Tuesday, December 2
Review & Interview at The Tudor Enthusiast

Wednesday, December 3
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Thursday, December 4
Guest Post at The Tudor Trail

Friday, December 5
Spotlight at A Leisure Moment

Monday, December 8
Review at 100 Pages a Day-Stephanie's Book Reviews

Tuesday, December 9
Review & Giveaway at The Eclectic Reader

Wednesday, December 10
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Obsession

Thursday, December 11
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession

Friday, December 12
Spotlight at Passages to the Past


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