Snapshot Review: VIII by H.M Castor

VIIIThis is a great book to pick up if you’re fan of the infa­mous Tudor king, no mat­ter what your age. VIII tells the story of Henry from a young prince through to his death and Cas­tor really suc­ceeds in bring­ing the prince to life, giv­ing emo­tion and moti­va­tion to her care­fully crafted char­ac­ter, while stay­ing true to his­tory.

There’s a lot to cover in just one book and inevitably some areas of Henry’s life are glossed over slightly, particularly some of his marriages. However, this is a period of history that has already been explored a lot – what’s fresh about VIII is that much of the book is based on Henry’s childhood and earlier years instead. It’s very much about the boy (and later, the man), himself, rather than the women in his life.

There is a hint of the para­nor­mal in VIII but it works well, Cas­tor is ambigu­ous enough to leave it up to the reader to decide whether Henry really was haunted, whether his upbring­ing and reli­gious beliefs led to his visions or whether he was a frag­ile young man, slowly going crazy.

An engag­ing story that I’d highly rec­om­mend for any­one with a love of history.

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