David Field’s masterful Tudor series continues, as the politicking and drama turn to the next generation. While series fans may have enjoyed being neck-deep in Henry VIII’s antics, his health is waning. To fill such large shoes will be a daunting task. Young Edward ascends to the throne at age nine, unable to rule alone. A Recency Council is appointed, headed by Edward Seymour, to guide young King Edward through the perils of ruling over England. The Earl of Somerset may be respected across the country, but his younger brother, Thomas, is far from pleased. While the Regency Council has a plan for the longevity of Tudor monarchs, young King Edward has a plan for the line of sucession that does not necessarily include his Catholic sister, Mary. Rather, Edward wants to see his young cousin, Jane Grey, find her path cleared to reign, which ruffles more than a few feathers. With the decree signed by the young monarch, it is only when the news reaches the Regency Council that public outrage reaches a boiling point, with additional ire directed at Edward Seymour. The Tudor dynasty could be in jeopardy, not least because King Edward is ill and the future remains murky. Tudor politics and backstabbing is front and centre in this piece, allowing Field to offer up some wonderful drama to entertain readers. Recommended to fans of the series to date, as well as the reader who has a passion for all things Tudor.
I am pleased that David Field keeps adding to this series, which mixes well-known aspects of English history with lesser published bits. Field uses a solid narrative, balancing it with a cast of strong characters in this tumultuous time in Tudor history. From the young boy king, Edward, who seems to be going through the motions, to the deeply influential Regency Council, whose members include the persuasive Edward Seymour, Field uses them all to push forward a variety of plots that come together as the story unfolds. With little time for adequate development, Field thrusts them before the reader in hopes of making a great first impression. The story’s structure is strong, though the time Field wishes to cover makes it hard to encapsulate everything in an effective manner. Mixing long and short chapters, Field is able to push forward an impactful narrative that tells of the internal divisions within the Tudor Court—none of which had anything do to with the validity of marriage, for once. Field has done well with the entire series to date, using strong characters and developing lesser-known facts to create an entertaining piece that is sure to educate as well. New and seasoned David Field fans alike will take something away from this novel, as the series gets better the further one delves.
Kudos, Mr. Field, for another winner. I am so eager to see all your ideas coming to find the light of day. Keep up the fabulous work!
A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons