The King's Witch

A Novel
Narrated by: Esther Wane
Length: 14 hrs and 35 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (154 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In March of 1603, as she helps to nurse the dying Queen Elizabeth of England, Frances Gorges dreams of her parents’ country estate, where she has learned to use flowers and herbs to become a much-loved healer. She is happy to stay at home when King James of Scotland succeeds to the throne. His court may be shockingly decadent, but his intolerant Puritanism sees witchcraft in many of the old customs - punishable by death. 

But when her ambitious uncle forcibly brings Frances to the royal palace, she is a ready target for the twisted scheming of the Privy Seal, Lord Cecil. As a dark campaign to destroy both King and Parliament gathers pace, culminating in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, Frances is surrounded by danger, finding happiness only with the King’s precocious young daughter, and with Tom Wintour, the one courtier she feels she can trust. But is he all that he seems? 

Acclaimed as a brilliant historian, Tracy Borman proves with this thrilling debut novel that she is also a born storyteller.

©2018 Tracy Borman. First published in Great Britain in 2018 by Hodder & Stoughton, an Hachette UK company. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I’ve read hundreds of historical fiction books....

And this easily breaks in to my top 20. Excellent book, excellent narration!!! Love it!!!

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

fantastic historical fiction. Fabulous

Absolutely one of the best jobs of historically accurate yet throughly entertaining story telling. I will be reading more by her.
Excellent narration as well.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator Noises

I enjoyed the story but the narration was a bit lacking. In particular I could hear the narrator's weird mouth noises (lip smacks, nasally breathing, throat noises) at pauses and it was a bit unnerving.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Superb!

What an extraordinary delight this book was! I didn't want it to end. Looking forward to Books 2 and 3!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

King James needed a scapegoat.

I thought this book was great and wish its sequels were avalaiable in America. So until then I am bumbed. Curiously waiting for the sequel it was a great book.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Tedious

It took forever to get to the point, so tedious. It’s hard to get into any of the characters, they are two dimensional. I felt like the author found things clever that were really just repetitive and boring.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Narrations are very poor.<br />

I struggled to keep interested in the male dialogs. I thought the females fine, but I however the males needed work.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Lacking substance

Story was slow and a bit boring at times. Narrator's impersonation of men's voice was painful.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Several unfinished threads

I liked the narrator, but the novel seems like a bunch of disconnected stories that were never really fleshed out. Francis’ relationship with Tom is shallow, with him being gone for half the novel. She is hijacked by her uncle and her parents just disappear to make brief appearances as if they have no interest in what happens to her. Her charges for witchcraft appear in the middle of the book and her skills as a healer are never revisited. Someone so devoted to her craft would not relinquish it so easily if I had my way. Francis is one dimensional as she is sort of dragged along with little life or spirit through the novel which ends with the gun powder plot against King James. The title is “The King’s Witch”, yet witchcraft sort of generally provides a background to the story rather than playing a leading roll as the title suggests. I was expecting some sort of court rebel with firmer convictions for a heroine. All of these threads could have been combined artfully into a more vibrant version of this tale. Alas this is not it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Needed More Details

Storytelling was quite interesting but characters and places needed more description. Narrator's voice was monotonous.