Here’s a new book that I liked a lot and I think you will too! I grabbed a copy at TLA this year and I was able to catch a couple of the authors in a panel I went too (very informative one at that, about writing historical fiction).
(Authors Candace Fleming and Linda Sue Park at TLA panel, 2018)
The book is called Fatal Throne and is written by a myriad of very good authors including: Candace Fleming, M.T. Anderson, Stephanie Hemphill, Lisa Ann Sandell, Jennifer Donnelly, Linda Sue Park, and Deborah Hopkinson. The cover will look like this:
And it’s due for publication in just a few days on May 1st!
Please grab a copy of this and enjoy it. This is the tale of the six wives of Henry VIII of England including accounts from the man himself. It covers the marriage of the famous monarch from his first wife Catherine of Aragon through to his last, Catherine Parr. The authors have masterly included historical fact into their tales, weaving the trials of political, religious and social reform into the stories of the love and loss experienced by the wives. However, historical fact is not overbearing and does not take away from the drama or tragedy of the tales told. Interwoven, is the overarching theme of fear, but also of hope. Fear of an at times rakish, at times tempestuous, and at times benevolent king, with the weight of the realm on his shoulders, who slowly descends into gluttony, madness and worst, loneliness. But also hope for brighter days, sometimes for death, mostly for resolution, and for freedom on the part of his wives.
The text is not historically accurate on all accounts; but, firstly, it’s not meant to be (remember the term ‘historical fiction’?); and secondly, it comes very close. As a reader and as somebody who has previously studied this particular era of history, I can easily say that the authors have done their research and have craftily exposed history through a beautiful story.
Each chapter is different (each author taking a different wife, with M.T. Anderson as the voice of Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I). As such, the dialogue reads well. The editing of the book is also well done and it must have been a huge task to bring the individual stories together into one masterful piece. My personal favourites were the voices of Anna of Cleves and Catherine Howard. Anna of Cleves (written by Jennifer Donnelly) because of her triumph; Catherine Howard (written by Linda Sue Park) because Park masters the voice of youth and naivety so very, very well.
This is an upcoming publication to look forward too. Readers who like Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series will enjoy this one. It will not have the epic story with in-depth historical detail that Gabaldon brings to her series, but it will be an entertaining read nevertheless.
Grab a copy here (or for free at your library).