This is a sequel that delivers on the promise of the first in the series, is even richer in the depth of its characterizations, and leaves the reader hoping for more. Though ostensibly a story of Henry VIII and the reverberations throughout his reign and all subsequent history of his cataclysmic second marriage, the book brings to the forefront the fascinating architect of many of Henry's legacies, both good and bad, the brilliant Thomas Cromwell. Though fictional, the portrait of Cromwell is detailed and highly plausible, and affords the listener a new viewpoint from which to view and judge the action of an otherwise too oft told tale.
Simon Vance never disappoints. In this narration his finest achievement is to maintain throughout the listener's intimacy with Cromwell's inner thoughts, yet at all times preserving the clarity of the narrative. The novel deserves the accolades it has received, and Vance's partnership with the author and superb translation of her intent has resulted in a literary listening experience of the first rank.
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