VIII by H. M. Castor


Written by H. M. Castor

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This is the story of Henry VIII from handsome young prince to cruel king. How did this talented skilful warrior turn into a villainous monster? This is historical fiction at its best but played out from a different angle with the tension of a psychological thriller and the eeriness of a ghost story with a contemporary and original writing style. It's also beautifully and lavishly produced in a hardback format.


VIII by H. M. Castor

VIII is the story of Hal: a young, handsome, gifted warrior, who believes he has been chosen to lead his people. But he is plagued by the ghosts of his family's violent past and, once he rises to power, he turns to murder and rapacious cruelty. He is Henry VIII. The Tudors have always captured the popular imagination, but in VIII, Henry is presented fresh for a new generation. H M Castor does for Henry what Hilary Mantel did for Thomas Cromwell - VIII is Wolf Hall for the teen and crossover market.

Press play to watch the book trailer below. This was made by final year students at Bath Spa University in conjunction with Artswork Media, Bristol.


“Great stuff. I loved reading books like this when I was younger. A modern take on historical fiction. Exciting, fascinating and surprisingly scary.” Charlie Higson, author of Young Bond and The Enemy

“Castor tells this story in the person of Henry VIII – audacious, yes, but she succeeds brilliantly, portraying the troubled soul of Henry from youth to old age.” The Bookseller

“H. M. Castor brings the dark and dangerous world of the Tudors to bloody life. In a story which grips from beginning to end, Castor casts the familiar figure of Henry VIII in a fascinating new light. In H. M. Castor, teenage fiction has found its Philippa Gregory or C.J. Sansom.” Celia Rees, author of Witch Child and The Fool’s Girl

About the Author

H. M. Castor

H. M. Castor has been obsessed with the Tudors since primary school. She studied Tudor History at Cambridge University, and despite spending time after that doing a variety of jobs – including teaching English in Prague and working as a Benesh Movement Notator for the Royal Ballet – the Tudors have never lost their hold on her. In particular she has been fascinated by the story of Henry VIII.

“I’ve read a great deal about his life,” she says, “but still a huge question has remained: just how does this extraordinary boy become one of the most villainous kings in British history? He is vastly talented, has astonishing warrior skills, and is said to be a model of virtue. So what turns him into a monster? In writing VIII I’ve set out to answer that question.”

H. M. Castor lives in Bristol with her husband and two daughters.

You can also read contributions from H M Castor on The History Girls blog - click here.

Press below to hear the author talking about VIII.

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Book Info


400 pages
Interest Age: From 13


H. M. Castor
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Templar Publishing

Publication date

1st October 2011




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