The King’s Witch

Tracy Borman. Atlantic Monthly, $27 (448p) ISBN 978-0-8021-2788-4
Borman (The Private Lives of the Tudors) lures readers into this first in a series of historical novels set during the reign of the Stuarts. In 1603 England, healer Lady Frances Gorges returns to her family home of Longford after nursing Queen Elizabeth I through her dying days. Frances is forced to leave the idyll of Longford at the demand of her uncle, Lord of Northampton, who has secured her a position in the household of young Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King James, Elizabeth’s successor. Though Frances warms to the effervescent princess and young lawyer Tom Wintour, she despises the court’s debauchery and is fearful of using her healing skills after witnessing the execution of a supposed witch. Yet Frances’s refusal to ignore pleas to help an ill child ends in disaster when the child dies, and she is arrested and tortured to determine if she is a witch. When the charges are dropped and she is released to tend to the ill Elizabeth, Frances’s blossoming romance with Thomas becomes complicated when he reveals a secret, and Frances must decide if she will remain loyal to Thomas. Borman is an astute chronicler of 17th-century English life, keenly depicting the excesses of the court and the dangers of religious persecution. The vivid detail and effortless storytelling will appeal to many readers, particularly fans of historicals in the vein of Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/23/2018
Release date: 07/01/2018
MP3 CD - 978-1-72133-983-9
Library Binding - 646 pages - 978-1-4328-5889-6
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