Book Review: Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler

Title: Kings and Queens kingsandqueens

Author: Terry Tyler

Published: April 24th 2014 by Cranium X

Genre: Romantic Drama

Pages: 387

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Description from Goodreads:

Terry Tyler’s seventh novel is a romantic drama spanning the years 1971 – 2007, with an unusual echo from history …

“KINGS AND QUEENS” tells of the life and loves of charismatic Harry Lanchester, which just happen to mirror the story of Henry VIII and his six wives. All the passion and suspense of the Tudor court, but set in modern times.

Harry’s realm is his South of England property developing company, Lanchester Estates, while his ‘wives’ are the twentieth century sisters of their historic counterparts: Anne Boleyn is reincarnated as the equally intriguing Annette Hever, and Henry VIII’s fifth wife with the risqué past, Catherine Howard, lives again in 1999 as Keira Howard, a former lap dancer.

The saga is narrated by each of the six women, in turn, interspersed with short chapters from the point of view of Harry’s lifelong friend, Will Brandon.

Don’t worry if you know nothing of this period in history – “Kings and Queens” can be enjoyed as a contemporary family drama, very much in the vein of Ms Tyler’s previous novels. Readers with an interest in the Tudors, though, will pick up on many similarities, references and metaphors, some quite amusing. For those non-Tudor fanatics who would like a brief look at the life of Henry VIII before reading, the author has included, in the Kindle book, a link to a mini-biography on her blog.

A sequel, following the lives of Harry’s three children, is already planned

My Thoughts:

I received my copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Kings and Queens was my very first Terry Tyler novel but it definitely won’t be the last! Kings and Queens tells the story of Harry Lanchester, property developing magnate, whose life is very similar Henry VIII, except he lives in modern times. Kings and Queens begins in the 70’s when Harry is a teenager and runs all the way through to 2007. I’m a big fan of Henry VIII novels, such as The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, so I was very interested to see how he would translate to the present. My biggest question was ‘how would he get rid of all of his wives when he can’t just behead them?’ I certainly wasn’t disappointed!

Terry Tyler clearly has an extensive knowledge of the Tudors which was evident in all of the subtle and quite funny references to real people and events. I don’t think that knowledge of the Tudors is necessary to enjoy Kings and Queens,  but the renames and references to the past were done so skillfully that I did have a laugh at most of them. The author also includes a mini biography on Henry VIII for anyone who would like to brush up on the real Henry as well, which was a very thoughtful touch.

Kings and Queens was written in first person narrative from the perspective of all of Harry’s wives and these were broken up by entries by Harry’s best friend, Will Brandon/The Duke of Suffolk. I think it added to Harry’s mystique that we never heard his perspective throughout the novel. He certainly is a fascinating character!

Each of the characters that we do hear from has their own distinct voice and each time the perspective changed I would find myself taking their side in things, even though that required a complete 180 from the previous chapter. I’ve never changed my mind so many times in one novel! Every single character was developed so well, with just the right balance between acknowledging their historical counterparts and making them a brand new character who lives only in this novel. I could definitely ‘hear’ each character in my mind while I was reading.

Kings and Queens also had quite a few funny moments. I loved all of the bad fashion descriptions from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and there was just the right amount of British slang to be funny, not contrived.

As you can probably tell, I loved Kings and Queens. Fans of Henry VIII will enjoy the nods to the past, but anyone who likes a good romantic drama or interesting and well developed characters and story lines should add Kings and Queens to their TBR pile. I can’t wait to read the sequel, Last Child, which is coming out soon!

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14 thoughts on “Book Review: Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler

  1. Wow! What a lovely surprise as I was flicking down my ‘mentions’ first thing!!! I am delighted you liked it so much, I love this review which, I think, really describes the novel so clearly and well. Thanks for mentioning the mini-biog, I think that’s an important feature. And that you recognised why I never wrote from Harry’s POV.

    I think it’s hilarious that you put that the British slang is just right and not contrived – I wasn’t even aware of the use of it, it’s just how we talk!!!!! I am still constantly surprised and amused by the Aus/US/UK English differences I’ve discovered since being in the self-pub game and using Twitter; I bet there must have been a few instances when you thought, hmm, that’s a weird thing to say! Love it!

    BIG thank you!!!!! xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An even bigger thank you to you Terry for letting me read it! I knew I would like it a bit being about Henry, but I seriously loved it! There were a couple of moments that I thought sounded a lot like ‘you’, especially in Annette’s section, but you really did such a good job of giving all of the characters a unique voice. I’m in awe of your talent!!

    The mini-bio was such a great idea, very thoughtful of you 🙂

    I think we’re probably more familiar with British slang here than you guys are with ours, but it always makes me giggle a bit, because I hear it in an English accent 😀

    xoxo

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  3. Oh dear, you caught me out – yes, I think there was a fair bit of Annette in me, more so than the other women. I’m much more docile than her though, honest!!!!! I’ve done a mini bio in Last Child, too, which was really hard and took me ages, it’s a much more complicated story history-wise.

    Yes, I agree re the slang – as a nation I think that, on the whole, we know very little about you at all. Ps, I have an aunt and cousins who live in Melbourne (no, I won’t ask if you know them, ha ha!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, I just realised that sounds a bit like I think you’re crazy! I could just see you in her no nonsense, take no prisoners attitude in the beginning, not the crazy stuff at the end!! And then you managed to switch over to Jenny so easily. Very clever!

    I can imagine the next bio must have been a tough one. They were so crazy those Tudor kids!! I’m really looking forward to Last Child now and seeing what happens to them all 😀

    We do seem to fly under the radar a bit. I’m always a bit surprised when people act like Aussies are an oddity and I do get the strangest comments sometimes! We do quite often get asked if we know people!! ha ha, no, Melbourne’s pretty big.

    I think you should come and visit soon then, so I can buy you a drink! xx

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    • Wouldn’t that be great???!!

      I remember when I read Bill Bryson’s book Down Under about his visit to (you’ve guessed it), he made that observation – that Aus is a country that people know little about, probably because it’s so damn far away! I’d love to go there. You never know, one day!!! I want to sit in an outback bar and drink beer with sheep shearers 🙂

      No, it’s okay, I got what you meant about Annette!!!!!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds like a good plan! I don’t think I’ll make it over your way until I finish uni now, so you should definitely visit before then!

        The good thing about Melbourne is that it doesn’t take long to drive to the beach, the bush, or the mountains so I could definitely take you to somewhere like that. Although I think all of the sheep shearers might be a bit scared of us!! xx

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  5. Hi Jade, Great review. I’ve been wondering about reading this one as I love the Tudors and after reading your review I’m keen to give it a go at some point. Might be nice to have a bit of a genre swap, a refreshing change. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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