Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"The King Must Die" - Book Review

Hey everyone!

Today I'm going to be writing a review of the novel The King Must Die for the Book Tour hosted by GoddessFish. It wasn't until after I read this novel that I realized that it was the sequel in a book series, though I still managed to read it just fine. :)


What is done cannot be undone.

 England, 1326. Edward II has been dethroned. Queen Isabella and her lover, Sir Roger Mortimer, are at the pinnacle of their power.
Fated to rule, Isabella’s son becomes King Edward III at the callow age of fourteen. Young Edward, however, must bide his time as the loyal son until he can break the shackles of his minority and dissolve the regency council which dictates his every action.
When the former king is found mysteriously dead in his cell, the truth becomes obscured and Isabella can no longer trust her own memory . . . or confide in those closest to her. Meanwhile, she struggles to keep her beloved Mortimer at her side and gain yet another crown—France’s—for the son who no longer trusts her.
Amidst a maelstrom of shifting loyalties, accusations of murder propel England to the brink of civil war.
In the sequel to Isabeau, secrecy and treason, conspiracy and revenge once again overtake England. The future rests in the hands of a mother and son whose bonds have reached a breaking point.

My Review:

There are so many historical fiction renditions of Edward II's attempted murder and Isabella's supposed involvement. However, N. Sasson has portrayed a different perspective and shone light on the possibility that Isabella didn't try to murder her husband. The dialogue was powerful and N. Sasson brought each of these historical figures to life in her novel The King Must Die. Even though the book is historical fiction and based on an event in history it is still a work of fiction and the author managed to create conflicts, inner turmoil and other conflicts going on around the characters' center issues that they were facing throughout the book.
N. Sasson  has a gift for story-telling and her talent of imagery made the story so vivid it could easily be interpreted into a visual picture within the imagination. I enjoyed this book, at times it felt rather slow but I would continue to read nonetheless and it would pick up pace again. The dual first-person perspectives between Isabella and her son Edward III was a great way to see both sides of the story and see how much Isabella cared for her son and what great lengths she went to, to protect her child even if he was king.
It would be really great to see this adaptation of Edward II's 'murder' to be turned into a movie, through the perspective N. Sasson had painted it in.


Edward III – Stanhope Park, July, 1327

“Douglas! Douglas!”

Praying it was only a nightmare, I slapped at my cheeks to bring a rush of blood to my hazy head.

Hooves clattered. More shouts. Then ... sword clanged against sword, struck flesh. Chaos. The cries of the wounded.

My heart clogged my throat. The realization struck me with the deadly force of one of Sir John’s cannons: we were under attack. Swallowing hard, I groped in the darkness for my sword. Frantic, I flailed my hand in a wider circle, my palm swatting at a mat of crushed grass. Then, my fingers smacked against my shield. My bones screamed in pain. Great, burning throbs. I pulled my hand to my chest and tried to move my fingers, but couldn’t.

The sounds were coming closer, growing louder.

Kyrie, eleison,” I chanted. “Kyrie, eleison. Kyrie —”

A dull glint caught my eye. I flexed aching fingers, wrapped them around the hilt and pulled my sword to me. Then I grabbed at the edge of my shield, dragging it over a crumpled shirt, and slipped my left arm through the loosened straps. No time to pull them tight. Rolling over onto my knees, I scooted around the center pole toward the opening. My blade clunked against metal—my helmet. Tucking my sword on my lap, I reached out, grasped it, and settled it snugly onto my head.

The shrill neigh of a horse ripped through the night air. Hooves crashed to a halt just outside the opening of my tent. I froze.

“A Douglas!”

Don't forget to get your own copy of The King Must Die and stay tuned for a guest post by author N. Gemini Sasson coming shortly! I had a lot of fun with this virtual book tour.



  1. Thank you for your honest review & the excerpt. I love history & so am looking forward to reading THE KING MUST DIE.


  2. I had such a very eerily similar experience with my sister, an artist. She's the one who made me realize just how many colors there are in everything: a strand of hair, skin, everything. And yes, that changed the way I saw EVERYTHING. I hadn't noticed the glimmers of yellow, and gold, and bronze, and green, that flashes within hair, for instance, when the sunlight hits it.



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