Book Review: The Murder of Edward VI by David Snow

Genre: Historical fiction

Publisher: GenZ publishing

Pub date: 12 October 2020

Rating: ๐ŸŒŸ ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

We all know the story of Henry VIII, the man who created a religious schism for the sake of divorce. A man so desperate for a son he had six wives. Henry VIII had only one son in his life, Edward VI, and this is his story…

Two months into his ninth year, Edward ascended to the throne of England. He was the last male of the House of Tudor and died, under somewhat dubious circumstances, at the young age of fifteen. Was it poison that killed Edward, or was it tuberculosis? Was Edwardโ€™s half-sister, Bloody Mary, the murderer?

In The Murder of Edward VI, readers follow castle intrigue through the eyes of Richard Barton, a fictional protagonist who takes part in the events of the period. What starts as a story of King Henryโ€™s desperate efforts to obtain a healthy male heir ends in murders.

I really liked the idea of this book as a bit of a Tudor mystery. Snow states that the work is fiction but positions taken and ideas expressed by individuals are based on evidence.

This story follows Sir Richard Barton as he tells his story to William Cecil of how he came to be a prisoner in the Tower of London.

Although I somewhat enjoyed the character of Barton I found it took almost to the end of the book to get to the events of Edward’s death, the majority of the story focuses on Barton’s service to Henry VIII so whilst it was an enjoyable read I wasn’t expecting the majority of the book to focus on Henry.

If you don’t like authors making use of artistic licence then this is definitely not for you. I don’t mind some use but I do prefer key facts to be correct. This book contains a lot of events not based on fact such as Cromwell being the prosecuting lawyer against Wolsey, Anne Boleyn pregnant before Henry requested an annulment, Catherine petitioning Charles to invade and Henry being an opium addict. I actually really like historical fiction but for me personally there were too many alternatives to fact in this.

For those who aren’t aware of facts of this era I think this would be a much more interesting and enjoyable read. Those who don’t mind diversions from fact may also enjoy this, I think it is entirely dependent on your personal preference for how accurate you like historical fiction to be.

That being said I did enjoy reading it and did like the character development of Barton I was just put off by certain inaccuracies. Personally I would have liked to read more about Mary’s alleged attempts to gain the throne as this part seemed rushed and I’d have liked to read more about what happens to Barton although maybe Snow has a sequel planned?

Thank you to NetGalley and GenZ publishing for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

The Murder Of Edward VI publishes today!

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