Thursday, 10 January 2013

VIII - Little M's review

VIII by H.M. Castor
VIII has been nominated for the Carnegie 2013 longlist. This review takes into consideration some of the judging criteria.

Hal is a boy, prince and a king. He is King Henry VIII. VIII is not a non-fiction book but it is based on the real Henry himself.  VIII is about King Henry VIII as a child growing up and all the troubles he faces.
VIII by HM Castor
Hal is a great fighter and loves to joust, all he wants is to fight and hunt. He is only young. But when his brother is claimed to be dead, he now must be King while still young. Will he be able to cope?!

I couldn’t really picture Hal as Henry VIII because I’ve only learned about Henry VIII as a grown-up king and that he was fat, had six wives and loved to play sport when he was younger. But I didn’t learn much about when he was a kid.
I did connect to Hal as Hal but when he got older in the novel, I did start to connect him to Henry VIII as I learned about him. I liked the character of Hal before he became king because he was cocky in an innocent and nice way. Hal definitely develops in the story because he becomes mean.

The language is not too difficult but it’s not too straightforward. It’s inbetween which is what I like about it because it’s not too easy to understand but the words still have meaning to me. There isn’t a lot of the action that gets you all excited. There is quite a bit of a dialogue; a good amount. The rest is Hal narrating.

The plot is fairly easy to follow but at some points it’s a little bit confusing for me.
I could guess what might happen next when he was more grown up because the book is based on the history, the history is woven into the plot. I thought the characters were more important to the author than the plot. I think that because it is mainly based on King Henry VII. The novel had a very satisfying end because it didn’t leave questions unanswered.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to people who like Tudor history and historical fiction readers. I think this book could be for Year 9s because they might understand more of the sub-plots.      

Publication details: 2011, Templar, Surrey UK
This copy: received from the publisher for shadowing the Carnegie longlist

This review also counts for Little M’s British Books Challenge 2013 and the Debut Author Challenge 2013 (because VIII is HM Castor’s teen debut novel).


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