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Book review: The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

This was a long read to start the year, but a great one. The third in the Thomas Cromwell series was quite the tome, beginning after the death of Anne Boleyn and finishing with Cromwell’s downfall.

While Cromwell might be known in history as being a cold and cruel accomplice to King Henry VIII, Mantel presents a thoughtful, wise man who is working to manage the unpredictable and temperamental Henry.

Mantel presents a fascinating and very readable history of the time, including the political and religious tensions between Britain and Italy, the marriages aimed at securing power and preventing war and the pervasive fear of being labelled a traitor by the king.

Somehow, by the end, I found myself grieving for Cromwell – a situation I would never have imagined at the start of this trilogy.

This is a fabulous series that brings together history and fiction in the most satisfying way.

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