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The Boy King

One of Open Letters Reviews’ Ten Best Historical Novels of 2020 ; First Place Winner, 2021 Chaucer Award for pre-1750s historical fiction

“Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this exquisite blend of fact and fiction” – Publishers Weekly

“A compelling blend of historical portraiture and novelistic flair” and “Wertman offers what everyone should want from historical fiction—rigorously enacted authenticity and gripping literary drama” – Kirkus Reviews

“Highly recommended both as a standalone and series read. Wertman’s work is among the best Tudor fiction on the market.” – Historical Fiction Reader

“Terrific…Electric characters being driven by dialogue…better than 95% of the Tudor fiction that’s been written in the last twenty years” – Steve Donoghue, book reviewer for the Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, and The National

“The conclusion to The Seymour Saga is a sheer delight…Wertman has created a magnificent window into the lives of the Seymour family, and ‘The Boy King’ is the piece de resistance of the entire series.”  – Adventures of a Tudor Nerd

“Impeccably researched and fascinating novel…Wertman masterfully counterbalances Edward’s story with that of his half-sister Mary.” – Tudor Time Machine


His mother, Jane Seymour, died at his birth; now his father, King Henry VIII, has died as well. Nine-year-old Edward Tudor ascends to the throne of England and quickly learns that he cannot trust anyone, even himself.

Struggling to understand the political and religious turmoil that threatens the realm, Edward is at first relieved that his uncle, the new Duke of Somerset, will act on his behalf as Lord Protector, but this consolation evaporates as jealousy spreads through the court. Challengers arise on all sides to wrest control of the child king, and through him, England.

While Edward can bring frustratingly little direction to the Council’s policies, he refuses to abandon his one firm conviction: that Catholicism has no place in England. When Edward falls ill, this steadfast belief threatens England’s best hope for a smooth succession: the transfer of the throne to Edward’s very Catholic half-sister, Mary Tudor, whose heart’s desire is to return the realm to the way it worshipped in her mother’s day.


Are you thinking about reading The Boy King with your Book Group? Click here for a suggested Discussion Guide. Also, Janet can join you all via Skype, Zoom, or Facebook Live (or even speaker phone!). Just head over to the Connect page to contact her with your preferred date.