This final book in the Wolf Hall Trilogy opens with a vivid repeat of Anne Boleyn’s death and what happens immediately after her beheading. What is said and what is done and how the body is treated. The attention to these details leaves me wondering if Thomas Cromwell will forever be haunted by what has come to pass by the very people he personally placed on the chopping block.
Mantel paints a vivid picture with her words. Her writing is stunning and, honestly, it’s so intense that the images, dialogues and scenes she creates are almost hard to read. This work is very haunting and graphic in her portrayal of what could possibly be a small amount of guilt that Thomas Cromwell feels. Although, it seems to me to be an impossible emotion for him.
I cannot reccomend this series enough. I will admit the pacing is very slow, these are not books to be rushed through. But Mantel kept my interest piqued throughout and there was not a boring moment.
When Anne Boleyn becomes a target of demise, Thomas Cromwell uses the opportunity for revenge that has been long in the waiting. This whole sequel felt like a spider web being spun, tighter and tighter, closing in on the Boleyn’s. As a reader who does not already know Thomas Cromwell’s whole story, I’m wondering if this web is closing in on him, as well? I feel like he is surrounded by shadows and is on the cusp of complete darkness.
This is an incredible tale and it is made more incredible by the way Mantel relates this story. There are parts that literally made me shiver and feel chills, particularly towards the end. And, I am not a person that takes fright easily so I know its these words that have been placed together so thoughtfully and wryly that I am left shaking!
I highly recommend this series for fans of historical fiction!! Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!!
This book begins in the year 1500. Thomas Cromwell was a young boy, however, Cromwell does not know his age or his birthday and never will know it exactly. In this trivial beginning, Thomas Cromwell is being beaten practically to death by his father Walter, a blacksmith. This sets off a tumultuous life for him in the following pages. He is taken in by his sister and her husband and then given money to just leave town and get scarce. He does.
He does everything, soldiering to marketing cloth, until the reader finds him in the year 1527, best guess is age 35. He is working for a man he loves dearly, the Cardinal, the Archbishop of York. He is well settled, taking care of his sisters and his own wife and children. However, things go wrong. Thomas Cromwell loses what is most important to him and yet only gains popularity in the eyes of king Henry VIII. And what follows, in this book and the next, is how he really makes history.
Hilary Mantel is a brilliant writer. However, I can see where people are coming from when they say they have a hard time reading her books. This is a reread for me and I had forgotten how necessary it was to really get into the rhythm of her writing style. I can make a few allusions here, it’s like a dance or like art etc. But really, it’s her gorgeous unique style that grabs me and convinces me that I couldn’t be doing anything more hardcore than reading historical fiction.