Monday, 9 January 2012

VIII by H. M. Castor

Although I was delighted to be given a copy of this book, I did think that it might be a bit - well - blokey for me. A boys own adventure!

Obviously any story about the life and times of Henry VIII is going to be full of jousts, bloodshed and treachery. However, Castor has also taken the time to delve deeply into the psyche of this fascinating king to try and resolve the many contradictions surrounding his life.

We see his early childhood as the "unimportant" second son, ignored by his father and older brother and coddled by his mother. He suffers beatings and humilations. He has bad dreams and is haunted by the ghosts of family past. He is prone to superstitious beliefs and dabbles in prophecies.

Castor has written a rich, gripping tale of power and madness. Highly recommended for lovers of good historical fiction - it makes me want to read Just A Girl and Wolf Hall again! 

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