The King's Witch

Atlantic Monthly. Jul. 2018. 448p. ISBN 9780802127884. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780802146243. F
OrangeReviewStarWith this first novel in a projected trilogy, historian Borman (The Private Lives of the Tudors; Thomas Cromwell) depicts the life of Lady Frances Gorges, a courtier of Queen Elizabeth I, and, according to the author, a noted healer. As Frances gets dangerously close to being targeted as a witch by the Privy Seal, Lord Cecil, she finds a friend in newly crowned King James's daughter, the precocious Princess Elizabeth, for whom she serves as the new lady of the bedchamber. Frances is also deeply drawn to Tom Wintour, a courtier whose gentle manner soon earns her trust. But Tom has secrets that could endanger her and those she holds most dear. The incredibly detailed and vivid narrative transports readers to a time when women were seen as no more than a commodity to be traded, and conspiracy loomed in every corner.
VERDICT This engaging page-turner is enhanced by flawless prose and an absorbing plot, making it a perfect choice for fans of historical fiction and post-Tudor England. [See Prepub Alert, 1/18/18.]
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