The King’s Pleasure: A Novel of Henry VIII

Recorded Books. May 2023. 23:06 hrs. ISBN 9781705061558. $24.99. F
Prolific English writer Weir (The Last White Rose: A Novel of Elizabeth of York) gives King Henry VIII his voice in this lengthy novel about the infamous monarch. Weir’s “Six Tudor Queens” series told the stories of the six wives of Henry VIII from the perspective of each wife. Now Weir gives husband Henry his chance by telling the tale from his point of view. Veteran narrator Rosalyn Landor brings a quintessentially royal sound to the court of this British king. Her character voices are distinguished mainly by changes in vocal register, and her precise diction brings texture and atmosphere. This disreputable king acted like no other king in history, yet he skillfully played the hand history dealt him. His overwhelming need to ensure that a Tudor sat on the English throne in perpetuity ranked above all. Henry’s love of learning and the arts shines through in this novel, giving him more depth than merely being the king who beheaded two of his wives and divorced two more.
VERDICT Weir offers a complex portrait of this mercurial monarch, capturing his zest for life while also revealing his desperation, selfishness, and greed.
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