The world of Henry VIII comes to life within the pages of H.M. Castor’s VIII, an historical retelling of the infamous king’s life from childhood to death. Written with teen readers in mind, the novel plots an intriguing course through the king’s life — with suggestions of madness and ghosts and hauntings throughout his years.
VIII is told in first person narrative from Henry’s POV, and offers readers a different perspective on his rise to power and his six wives. It’s a story that’s been told time and time again — but here Castor tries to put her own mark on the history, to questionable degrees of success.
Castor adds in elements of suspense and mystery which make for an intriguing read — but the story is, in some ways, too familiar to be all that gripping. Perhaps for readers less familiar with Henry VIII’s life, this book would hold more interest — but personally, I found myself getting impatient at times for the narrative to move on to the next milestone.
Ultimately, VIII is a story that will always be fascinating — and here, Castor offers up a version that is easily approachable for teen readers and is the perfect entree to studying this infamous moment in history.
VIII is in stores August 20th. Here is the official synopsis:
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 plagued 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.
H.M. Castor does for Henry what Hilary Mantel did for Thomas Cromwell – VIII is Wolf Hall for the teen and cross-over market.