Monday, 25 November 2013

Horrible Histories [Review: A Hall Of Wolves]

I've been on a literary medieval epic bender recently. At one point I even got some of the books confused but I think I've sorted it out now.

So to summarise: Thomas Starkwell is a young noble who rises to power through his allegiance to Archsepton Thomas Cranwell, eventually becoming the Hand of King Robert VIII, but must face up to his dangerous rival Queen Cersanne Boleynnister. Meanwhile across the seas, Janaeris Seyborn hatches her own plan to take the throne.

Hilary R.R. Mantel's fantasy world is vivid and complex, sometimes more convincing and sometimes less. I can vouch for the dragon biology which is pretty accurate, and of course the vicious winters that last for years or decades will be familiar to British peasants of any age. On the other hand Mantel seems a little too fond of graphic beheadings, and the idea of a King who would overturn a religion and risk triggering both civil and international wars just for a mistress who is playing hard to get seems a little far-fetched.


Maurice Mitchell said...

Starnger things have happened for the love of a woman Gene, but I could do without the graphic beheadings.

Sci-Fi Gene said...

Fictionalised truth is often stranger (and bloodier) than fiction...