A Gift to Historical Fiction

Fatal Throne by M.T. Anderson, Candace Fleming, Stephanie Hemphill, Lisa Ann Sandell, Jennifer Donnelly, Linda Sue Park, Deborah Hopkinson
Genre: historical fiction
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
Date: May 1, 2018
Reviewed by: Brit Yancey
Fiction Addict Scorecard: A

Everyone knows the story of the famous king of England, Henry VIII. We know of his disowning the Catholic church within his country and creating his own church. We know of his many wives and his zealous attempts at leaving a strong line of heirs. Countless books have been written of the man, but what of the wives? Fatal Throne: The wives of Henry VIII tell all ventures to give a voice to each of his eight queens no matter how small their reign.

The novel begins with the first queen of Henry VIII, Katharine of Aragon. For a nice twist to set the tone of the novel it starts with the queen as she has already been cast aside by the notorious king of England. Anne Boleyn (arguably most famous wife of the Tudor king) is already in the spotlight as the future queen but only if Katharine will agree to the annulment of her marriage to Henry. The entire novel starts with a cord of sadness and regret, but quickly turns a corner to the excitement of youth.

This book is a true piece of art. There are seven separate authors throughout the book and still the book doesn’t seem disjointed or broken up by the different voices of the writers. Each queen has a different author which brings each character to life in a unique way. I honestly cannot praise this approach for writing enough. Nothing less would work as well for such prominent women of history, let alone a line of queens. The one male author, M.T. Anderson, is the author of each Henry VIII excerpt. This is put in between each queen’s story and his voice ties together each story. It works somewhat similar to a palate cleanser between courses in a meal.

If you are a fan of historical fiction, then you need to pick up this book as soon as you can. New to the genre, and/or curious about the Tudors? Then give this book a try. Fatal Throne was a page turner and literary art that is hard to find in today’s world.

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