I wasn’t sure whether to give this a 2* or 3* so I think it is somewhere inbetween.
This book is written from the perspective of Catherine Howard, who becomes the 5th wife of Henry VIII, and Robert Butcher, a butcher’s son who dreams of making a better life for himself and enlists as a soldier at the Tower of London.
Catherine is a pretty girl, who, even at her young age, knows how to use her charms to attract the men. She has several suitors, who she manages to have secret assignations with, and who all manage to clamber through the window of the Maidens’ Chamber at night and climb into her bed. She eventually catches the eye of the King, who marries her and for eighteen months all is well until she rekindles a friendship with Thomas Culpepper, which is her downfall.
A soldier’s life at the Tower is not what Robert Butcher envisaged. He witnesses the beheading of Anne Boleyn and the cruel treatment of many others at the hands of Henry VIII. He eventually leaves.
The book is interesting in as much as it gives the reader an insight into what life would have been like in those days, but I didn’t like the way the book was written. The use of conversation as a way of explaining life at court and life at the Tower seems to be an easy way out for the author to tell his story.