One of Open Letters Review's Ten Best Historical Novels of 2020; First Place Winner, 2021 Chaucer Award for pre-1750s historical fiction
"Highly recommend both as a standalone and series read. Wertman's work is among the best Tudor fiction on the market" - Historical Fiction Reader
His mother, Jane Seymour, died at is birth. Now his father, King Henry VIII, has died as well. Nine-year-old Edward Tudor ascends to the throne of England and quickly learns that he cannot trust anyone, even himself.
Struggling to understand the political and religious turmoil that threatens the realm, Edward is at first relieved that his uncle, the new Duke of Somerset, will act on his behalf as Lord Protector, but this consolation evaporates as jealousy spreads through the court. Challengers arise on all sides to wrest control of the child king, and through him, England.
While Edward can bring frustratingly little direction to the Council’s policies, he refuses to abandon his one firm conviction: that Catholicism has no place in England. When Edward falls ill, this steadfast belief threatens England’s best hope for a smooth succession: the transfer of the throne to Edward’s very Catholic half-sister, Mary Tudor, whose heart’s desire is to return the realm to the way it worshipped in her mother’s day.
Tragedy and political machinations in England's volatile Tudor court mark Wertman's (Jane the Quene) elegant final installment of her Seymour Saga trilogy. In 1547 at age nine, Edward VI, the son of Jane Seymour and Henry VIII, is crowned king after the death of his infamous father. Under the strict eye of his uncle Edward Seymour, the Duke of Somerset, little Edward is a prisoner of interminable court rituals and a puppet of religious and political opportunists. Edward is determined to keep England Protestant, as his father wished, but his 18-year-old half-sister, Mary, threatens a return to Catholicism. Somerset is on precarious ground, surrounded by scheming nobles competing for power and prestige—including his disaffected younger brother, Tom—who believe the weak and sickly Edward can be overthrown easily. Kept mostly in the dark about the intrigue around him, Edward takes solace in his 13-year-old half-sister, Elizabeth, who has been branded a bastard unable to ascend to the throne. Wertman channels her expert knowledge of history into sumptuous details of strategic marriages, Edward's coronation, and the everyday paranoia rampant during the boy king's short life. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this exquisite blend of fact and fiction. (Self-published)