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Reviewed by Lucinda E Clarke for Readers' Favorite
The Boy King by Janet Wertman is the story of Edward VI from the time he became king in January 1547 until his death in July 1553. Edward was only nine years old when his father, King Henry VIII, died. Even though he was aware of what it entailed, he knew very little about the workings of the government. Edward found himself surrounded by a bewildering group of illustrious officials and relations who told him what to do and how to do it. He remembered much of the advice given to him by his great father--be careful who you trust--but Edward was unsure who to trust. He felt helpless, impotent, and quite scared. Edward observed the infighting between three of his uncles and the Council members who supported them in turn. He longed to take matters into his own hands but didn’t know how. His belief in the Protestant religion was the only certainty he had. Unfortunately, it was in direct conflict with the Roman Catholic Church. He was passionate about bringing the whole of England into the new faith. His mother, Jane Seymour, died giving birth to him, and he felt responsible for her death. But he loved his half-sisters, though he was uncomfortably aware that Mary, daughter of Catherine of Aragon, was an ardent Catholic. As his health declined, he was desperate to deny her rightful place on the throne.
I loved The Boy King by Janet Wertman, and I’ve found a new author to add to my favorites list. It is the third book in the Seymour Saga Trilogy, and I shall certainly look up the others. How did I not find this writer earlier? Written from the point of view of little Edward himself – with a few scenes from his sister Mary – the author slides so easily into how a young boy might think and feel. Reading this took me back to the sixteenth century; I was there, I lived as a bystander watching the events play out. I read this book from start to finish in a day, ignoring everything else, and I loved every moment of it. I highly recommend reading this book.