Not much is known about King Henry’s third wife, so Weir had to rely on her imagination more than in previous books, and I found her imagination somewhat lacking. She portrays Jane as a pious anti church reform woman who once believed she’d been Called to a spiritual life, but gave up on her dream of being a nun in favor of a posting in Queen Katherine’s household at Court. The nun thing is an invention of Weir’s and doesn’t really add much to the story other than to unnecessarily reinforce Jane’s piousness. This piousness is referenced again and again, but rather than portray Jane as a straight-laced goody-two-shoes, Weir tried to make her more complex. Which is how we get a Jane that loves Queen Katherine and hates Anne Boleyn for having an affair with the King (among other reasons), and later justifies her own affair with the King by telling herself that his marriage to Anne wasn’t legitimate and therefor it’s not adultery. (It’s still fornication, but pious Jane doesn’t bat an eye at that. It’s true love, so God will totes understand.) She feels somewhat responsible for Anne’s ultimate fate and is haunted by her specter (literally—she starts seeing an Anne-shaped shadow in her bedchamber at night), but not even a mild ghost infestation can spice up the blandest of Henry’s wives. Basically, boring queen = boring book. Without a truly interesting character to distract me, I was painfully aware that Weir’s prose isn’t much more than a checklist of historical events as she thinks her version of Jane would have perceived them.