VIII by H M Castor - Published by Templar Publishing



I really liked reading this book although it was hard to follow in places. The setting is Tudor England and the VIII in the title refers to King Henry VIII. The book is written as part diary, part dialogue and takes Henry from a young boy to adulthood. The author tries to offer an explanation for how Henry may have gone from being a talented and kind young boy to the evil king that we think of him today.

Castor says Henry's father's cruelty was behind this transformation but in reality it was far more complicated than that. She also introduces a ghost that appears right at the beginning of the book when Hal is being taken to the Tower of London for his own protection. This ghost haunts Henry throughout his life. Castor reminds us that Henry felt he ruled by a divine right and could do anything he wanted to do. He was determined to make England strong again and improve relations with France.

I don't know whether this book is an accurate account of Henry's actions as king. The book is set in two halves, Henry as a boy up until his first divorce and the rest of his life. The second half seems a little rushed to me as that was perhaps the more interesting part of his life; five other wives and his mental despair.

Overall, I would recommend this book but it might be worth reading a short chronology of Henry's life beforehand.

by Genevieve

The book maps out King Henry VIII's life, from when he was a young man until his death. Throughout the story he sees strange apparitions of a small boy that grows to be a man throughout his life.

I think this book is a very good book for trying to tell people about King Henry VIII, and I like the fact that it shows why he did so many cruel things and he  was selfish throughout his life. However, the only thing I will say is that it focuses a lot on the apparition that Henry sees, and although it is a good way of showing Henry as a cruel person and what his cruelty made him capable of - it might be seen by some that he was mad because of it. But I really like it.

by Rebekah

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