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The King's Sons   By: (1831-1909)

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The King's Sons by George Manville Fenn is an intriguing historical fiction novel that takes readers on a journey through the complexities of royal lineage, power struggles, and the responsibilities of being a monarch's heir. Set in medieval England, this book delves into the lives of the king's three sons, each with their own unique personalities and ambitions.

Fenn's storytelling is captivating, as he effortlessly transports readers to a time of knights, castles, and political intrigue. The author's attention to detail shines through in the vivid descriptions of the settings, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the world he has created. From the bustling streets of the city to the grandeur of the royal court, every scene feels authentic and adds depth to the story.

The characters in The King's Sons are well-developed and relatable. Prince Edward, the eldest son, is presented as a responsible and dutiful heir to the throne, burdened by the weight of expectations. In contrast, Prince Lionel embodies the restless spirit of a young man seeking adventure beyond the confines of his royal lineage. Lastly, Prince John, the youngest and perhaps the most unpredictable of the siblings, adds a touch of mystery and unpredictability to the narrative.

One of the central themes explored in this novel is the struggle for power and control. Fenn skillfully portrays the conflicts that arise between the brothers as they grapple with their ambitions and desires for the crown. Their interactions and rivalries are realistic, depicting the complexities of sibling relationships in a context where the stakes are exceptionally high.

Furthermore, Fenn seamlessly weaves historical events into the narrative, providing a solid foundation for the story. The author's research is evident as he incorporates real-life figures and events that shaped the politics and societal dynamics of the time. This attention to historical accuracy adds an extra layer of depth and authenticity to the overall reading experience.

However, despite the strengths of The King's Sons, there are instances where the pacing feels slightly inconsistent. Certain sections may seem slower compared to others, which could potentially disrupt the reader's engagement. Nonetheless, Fenn's ability to create tension and suspense compensates for this minor flaw, ensuring that the interest is consistently maintained.

In conclusion, The King's Sons by George Manville Fenn is a captivating historical fiction novel that delves into the intricacies of royal life, power struggles, and the bonds of brotherhood. With its engaging narrative, well-developed characters, and attention to historical detail, this book is sure to delight fans of the genre. Fenn's storytelling prowess makes this an enjoyable read for both history enthusiasts and those simply seeking a tale of adventure and ambition.

First Page:

The King's Sons, by George Manville Fenn.

This is a very short book, and it does not contain any of the usual nail biting Fenn style situations. But it is very good at what it does, which is to tell a story about King Ethelwulf of Wessex and his four sons, each of whom in turn became King.

The story concentrates on the youngest of the sons, Alfred, who became known as Alfred the Great during his reign. The four boys have a tutor, Father Swythe, but only Alfred is interested in what the monk has to teach. At this point we get a very interesting lesson on how the great illustrated manuscripts were made, how the ink and the colours were made, and how the pens and brushes were made.

Father Swythe later became Bishop of Winchester, and was known as Swithun. He was canonised, and somehow there has grown a legend that if it rains on Saint Swithun's day it will rain for forty days after that. He is portrayed as rather a portly monk in this story, but his effigy in Winchester Cathedral shows him as a very slight man. There is another story about him which makes him out to be rather a small man, who couldn't reach the key hole of the cathedral, which obligingly slid down for him. Anyway, the story is a good one, and you will enjoy it... Continue reading book >>

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