Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I first became enthralled with books about Tudor-era England, C.J. Sansom was the author that got me into the time period. His mysteries set around the time of Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell were well done and historically fascinating. Well, after reading Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, I have to say that she makes Sansom's books seem like pale comparisons. That is taking nothing away from Sansom, mind you. Wolf Hall is just THAT GREAT. We start by seeing the early like of Thomas Cromwell and his troubled youth. Mantel does an amazing job of giving the backstory of the man who would become King Henry the VIII's most trusted adviser and hatchet man (figuratively of course). The story then progresses through Cromwell's life, eventually getting to the most scandalous period and the beginnings of what would become the Reformation movement in England due to the pope not granting an annulment to King Henry. I don't get some of the reviewers who said that this was a difficult read. I had no problems at all following the large cast of characters and the prose. Many complained that Mantel's use of the word "he" was confusing and the reader didn't know who she was referring to most of the time. That didn't faze me at all, in fact, every time Mantel used the word "he" to refer to a character, it was obviously in reference to Thomas Cromwell the main character of the story. I very rarely noticed her using the word "he" to refer to anyone else but Cromwell and very soon got used to it. I thought this book was incredibly insightful and compelling and would recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction.

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