Monday, April 6, 2009

New Release: King's Fool

As far as historical fiction goes, one of the most visited periods is that of Henry VIII and his six wives. King's Fool by Margaret Campbell Barnes is that story with a twist -- it is the autobiography of Will Somers, court jester to King Henry.

Will Somers lost his mother at a young age and worked on his uncle's farm. He impressed a passing merchant, Richard Fermor, and was taken into Fermor's employ as a worker and scribe. When he accompanied this man to a meeting at the royal palace, he caught the eye of the King and was hired on the spot as the King's fool. Through time, Will uses his skills as a listener and a friend to become more than just entertainment. He keeps his job as he watches queens come and go and witnesses his King lose his virility and strength.

This was a very enjoyable tale that gives a brief introduction to the reign of Henry VIII. Somers was a very likeable character and the love story that Barnes added in was sweet. She is very talented at writing dialogue and at condensing large amounts of history into a short book. I would definitely like to read more of the novels that she wrote about the court of Henry VIII. This book was just re-released by Sourcebooks.

Appreciating that the fool was no fool,

Buy King's Fool: A Notorious King, His Six Wives, and the One Man Who Knew All Their Secrets on Amazon or find it at your local library.

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