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on Jan. 26, 2012 :
Alternate history of the death of one of Englands Greatest Kings. Interesting premis but conversations where stilted and did not seem to grab my attention. If you are interested in history this is a nice fiction account but you have to want to read it.
(reviewed 8 months after purchase)
on Aug. 07, 2011 :
Henry VIII, King of England, King of France and Lord of Ireland, teaches William, his presumed illegitimate son, how to ensnare current Queen Elizabeth’s attention and recapture the throne.
In this alternative universe, King Henry VIII did not die, but was exiled to an island along with his illegitimate son. Elizabeth finally inherits the throne, recognizes her father and takes a personal interest in young William when they return to England. While the tale closely follows William and portrays life as author Joseph Fullam imagined it occurred in the 1500s, there are gaps where the action seems to fade out only to pick up again with the introduction of a new character or setting. What happened to several of the characters, including dethroned Henry, was lost in the shuffle. The ending was confusing and the reader has to take a leap of faith that William could travel and that he did achieve any sort of relationship with the Queen, in order for this tale to be accepted as a plausible alternative Tudor universe.
(reviewed 44 days after purchase)
on July 19, 2011 :
As you can tell the ratings are either low or very high. It is almost as if there were two different books that have been reviewed.
I did not find this book to be a worthwhile read. It is very slow, the language is neither historical nor interesting. I had a great deal of trouble keeping my mind on the topic or characters. I managed to slog through about half of the book before giving up.
The subject matter or storyline are both viable but simply too drawn out and muddled to make it a recommended read.
(reviewed 27 days after purchase)
on July 15, 2011 :
This book by Fullam is an interesting read. The ending is not expected, and some of the characters are a little "starchy", they do not seem to me to be fully fleshed out.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on March 24, 2011 :
I received this e-book free in exchange for a review.
The premise of this book seemed interesting. I am a fan of historical fiction, especially anything relating to England. This book however, did not meet my expectations. The dialogue was good, but there was very little action in the book. It read more like a rough draft, not a finished product. Some sections seemed only sketched in, and I found it hard to connect some of the dots. I just couldn't really get into it, but I finished it anyway. The concept was interesting and perhaps with some fleshing out a re-edited revision would be easier to follow. I wish the author better luck on future works.
(reviewed 55 days after purchase)
on March 23, 2011 :
As a fan of historical fiction and the occasional bit of alternate history, I was intrigued by the premise behind Fullam’s The Virgin King. This book is heavy on dialogue, but short on plot. In the end, it felt unfinished because it seemed that not much had happened. Fullam is a capable writer of dialogue, though some rough spots would benefit from the hand of a good editor. Sadly, he is not so capable conveying action.
The idea of King Henry VIII fleeing England and raising an illegitimate son in exile with an aim to reclaim the throne from his own daughter, Elizabeth, has promise. But I was left with too many loose ends. What happens to the old king? He disappears midway through the book. Was he really insane or was that a false claim by his enemies? What about William being made part of Elizabeth’s network of spies under Cecil? Nothing ever comes of that. Why does Henry hate Elizabeth so much? Is William really Henry’s son or, as rumor had it, did his mother have another lover?
I found other aspects of the story simply implausible. Did Henry really think that a son raised on a primitive island would be capable of entering England and claiming the throne when he had no experience with politics or court intrigue and no concept of the life of the English people? If so, maybe he was mad. How could the inexperienced 17 year old repair a boat by himself and sail it single-handedly back to England, even surviving a storm at sea on what has to be the Atlantic off the coast of France? William believes himself to be Henry’s son, but never seems to realize that means that Elizabeth is his half-sister. His infatuation with her drives what little story line there is.
Overall, this book feels like it is still in the conceptual phase, desperately seeking a fully developed plot line. It wasn’t an unpleasant read, but it left me feeling unsatisfied.
(reviewed 49 days after purchase)
on March 22, 2011 :
The Virgin King by Jospeh Fullham is a mad romp through England from the eyes of King Harry VIII’s grandson William who has been stuck on an island looking after his ever-increasingly mad grandfather who would like to see William go on to rule his beloved land. What follows is a humourous , mayhem involved trek for poor William into a land that his grandfather no longer knows anything about as neither does Will.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, reading it on a night when I needed a bit of light and entertaining reading. Now if you as a reader are expecting factual events, well then this is not the book for you as they are few and far between. However it is easier read if you have some knowledge of the historical events of the time. Think of the movie Spaceballs as a spoof of Star Wars. Entirely enjoyable but not to be taken seriously.
Come on my dear readers, in an age of horrible earthquakes and crazy Libyan dictators, take an afternoon or evening, throw the cares and worries away, and join Mr. Fullam for a fun read through Tudor times. I know I did!!!
(reviewed 31 days after purchase)
J. Robert Ewbank
on Feb. 22, 2011 :
This book by Fullam is an interesting read. The ending is not expected, and some of the characters are a little "starchy", they do not seem to me to be fully fleshed out. Of course this may have been in the mind of the author. It will catch your attention even though you are not sure that it is a realistic portrayal of the characters.
J. Robert Ewbank "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
on Feb. 20, 2011 :
Rich descriptive prose. The language creates vivid pictures of life back in the time of Queen Elizabeth.
(reviewed 20 days after purchase)