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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Review - VIII by H M Castor

Book Review
VIII by H M Casto

About the Author    H. M. Castor has been obsessed with the Tudors since primary school. She studied Tudor History at Cambridge University, and despite spending time after that doing a variety of jobs - including teaching English in Prague. The Tudors have never lost their hold on her. In particular she has been fascinated by the story of Henry VIII. I've read a great deal about his life,A" she says, but still a huge question has remained: just how does this extraordinary boy become one of the most villainous kings in British history? He is hugely talented, has astonishing warrior skills, and is said to be a model of virtue. So what turns him into a monster? In writing VIII I've set out to answer that question.A" H. M. Castor has written many younger fiction and non fiction titles for HarperCollins, A&C Black, Carlton, Puffin and Usborne. VIII is her first novel for teenagers. She lives in Bristol with her husband and two daughters.
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Book Description
Destined for greatness; tormented by demons… VIII is the story of Hal: a young, handsome, gifted warrior, who believes he has been chosen to lead his people. But he is tormented by the ghosts of his family's violent past and, once he rises to power, he turns to murder and rapacious cruelty. He is Henry VIII. The Tudors have always captured the popular imagination. In VIII, Henry is presented afresh for a new generation of teenage readers.

Book Review
A descriptive and historical novel that not only kept me wanting to read it but it also taught me a lot more about one of our most famous monarchs.  The author writes as if she is Henry VIII himself, giving you a great insight into how his life was shaped for him, by the neglect of his father and the love from his mother.
His early life was always full of conflict between love and hate, but more importantly his belief in the prophecy and demons that haunted him.  Reading the novel you feel as if you are in the court and you can actually visualise the young king learning his trade, by watching him drawing the longbow, practising his jousting and seeking appreciation and love from all of those around him.  The trials and tribulations that faced him as his older brother was killed and the way that he was treated, shows how and why he reacted when he became King Henry VIII.

Although classed as a book for teenagers, I found it a must read for all royalists and people interested in the Tudor period.  Anyone who wants to try and explain this king to their children, will definitely benefit from this.  Really enjoyed reading this book.
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