When I recently attended the Texas Library Association conference, I was filled with excitement for all the different panels I'd be able to attend over the weekend. The very first one I went to was absolutely PACKED. It was a panel on historical writing that featured some of the best current authors in that genre (my favorite genre, no less!) and several of the panelists were collaborators on Fatal Throne.
Hearing Candace Fleming and Linda Sue Park discuss the process behind the collaborative effort that brought Fatal Throne into being was so incredible. The book is about the six wives of Henry VIII, and each queen has their own first-person section penned by a different author. Fleming kicks the book off with Katharine of Aragon, and Park has one of the latter chapters with Catherine Howard. Park in particular talked about the way she came to different conclusions about Catherine, in regards to original sources and who was interpreting information about Catherine (mostly men who wanted to see her fall from power, which has definitely colored our opinions on the young queen). As an avid reader who wants to be an writer, getting to meet some of the authors of Fatal Throne before I read it made the experience of finally reading the book that much better.
Although the subject matter sometimes trended toward stressful (the intrigue! The scandal!) and/or gruesome (the beheading! The...drawing-and-quartering!), Fatal Throne was such a fun, fun read. Every author truly had their own unique, stand-out voice, and M. T. Anderson's Henry VIII was so wonderfully dislikable. From the popularity of shows like The Tudors, we know that this real-life soap opera of Henry and his queens piques our interest, and even people who have read or watched different versions and accounts of Tudor history will devour Fatal Throne. I know I did -- I read the latter half of the book on a flight, still turning the pages as the wheels touched down because I just HAD to finish it!
Fatal Throne was released in the US on May 1, 2018, from Schwartz & Wade (Random House Children's Books).
Disclaimer: I received an advanced readers' copy of Fatal Throne at the Texas Library Association Conference 2018. This has in no way affected my rating, review, or opinion of this book. Some of the links in this review are affiliate links.