Vanessa has been reading Kings & Queens and it’s sequel Last Child by Terry Tyler
Kings and Queens – Terry Tyler
Kings and Queens
“This book is intense!
For anyone who has watched series like Dallas, Dynasty, The Colbys or Falcon Crest (yes, I admit it – I have) this brought back so many memories! My grandmother was obsessed and I remember coming home from school and watching Falcon Crest with her, or when I was sick watching Dynasty. Dallas was much discussed at school! Yes, I am going back approx 30 years!
There was something about characters like Joan Collins, who nearly slept with her son and seduced anyone in sight that made for addictive viewing! As well as the alcoholics and drug addicts! (The rich have it SO tough)
So back to the book. Kings and Queens is all about this & more!
Romance, adultery, suspense, a lot of death and heartache, “fit” men and women, and also (which was nice to see) normal boring characters that fit in nicely to the massacre that is the old-fashioned Lanchester mentality!
Lanchester’s Empire is a male dominated family business which relies on the family “male” heir to provide continuity.
Things do not go well from the start though. The first born, Alex, dies in a rock-climbing accident and the second son, Harry, takes the reins of the business at the age of 18!
The saga that continues as his love-life goes on the biggest roller-coaster EVER is extreme.
Personally, I found many of the scenarios to be unbelievable but this is the beauty of fiction! Perfect escapism into a world where many are crooks, adulterers and ruthless murderers!
I highly recommend this if any of what I have rambled on about makes you think, “This is for me!” I must add that having read several of Terry Tyler’s books before her style definitely makes for addictive reading, even though at times some of the character changes left me slightly disorientated.”
“I have to admit that having read Kings and Queens I was immediately drawn to read the sequel. This is the great thing about reading a book after the next one has already been written. I have on many occasions waited for the next book in a series to be sorely disappointed.
This was not the case here, and I have I say I actually enjoyed Last Child even more than reading Kings and Queens.
There are a few reasons for this. Historically, Henry VIII has always been an interesting historical characters because of his many wives. Personally, I found History boring at school and never connected. What did I care that someone had so many? Seems like a bit of an idiot to me! So, when you read historical fiction written in a contemporary setting it brings everything to life. It makes you think, “Wow! Now I get it!” This is what Kings and Queens did – it made the illogical make sense.
But, in Last Child you see the consequences of someone so promiscuous and irrational via his offspring. The good and the bad. From the pampered male heir who wants to get everything his way (to dire consequences), to the deranged unwanted daughter who feels neglected and abandoned because her father rejected her via her mother, to the younger more exuberant child who had oodles of character and does not care what is expected of her, she just gets on with it.
The way in which we get to eavesdrop on their thoughts and actions again explains historical facts in a way that allows for compassion. I mean, seriously, I would never had thought a man who has an affair with a woman half his age would be rational. Yet, in this story it sound plausible (not for me personally, but I got how it happened).
So many details and actions that have so much relevance to society today. Again, it is like watching a TV soap – everyday events are embellished with tragic consequences.
However, in the end Terry has left us with some inner peace. Everything does not always go to plan, but you can make the most of a bad situation. She has also left an opening for another book – I practically screamed at the book at the end! More twists to come I think…
Anyway, if you have not read this author’s books before you really should. She has a way of drawing you in, of getting you involved, of sympathising with characters you thought you hate, and feeling annoyed at characters you thought would be great. I love that. I want to be sent on a roller coaster ride when I read a book and this was definitely up, down, sideways and over!
One thing I will say is that the Lanchester family actually made me think of the Kennedy’s not the British Monarchs. I guess it’s really sad when a family seems to be so jinxed. Even the best of people have no guarantees in life. I guess we all have to live life to the maximum and make every day count, regardless of what the social niceties dictate.”
*~I got this book in exchange for an honest review via Rosie’s Book Review Team*~
Cathy chose to read and review Last Child by Terry Tyler
Last Child by Terry Tyler
Following on from the impressive Kings and Queens, The Last Child tracks the fortunes of Harry Lanchester’s children, Isabella, Erin and Jasper. The narrative flows smoothly, with chapters from several of the main characters’ perspectives, each moving the story along seamlessly. Again, Terry Tyler very cleverly parallels each fascinating character with their Tudor equivalent, in a modern day setting and with her own unique interpretation.
Ex nanny, Hannah Cleveley opens the story the year after Harry’s fatal heart attack. Lanchester Estates is being managed by Ned Seymour, young Jasper’s uncle, until he comes of age, with assistance from Jim Dudley. There’s no love lost between the two men and Isabella and Erin support opposing camps which doesn’t make for easy business relations especially when Isabella finds out that Erin has sold some shares to Jim Dudley.
Jasper, at thirteen, is more interested in getting up to mischief with his friends, and other people who should know better. Grounded for drinking, Jaz (he won’t answer to Jasper any more) records his thoughts on a dictaphone at Hannah’s suggestion. Reading his take on his life is amusing and sad at the same time.
Tensions are running high at Lanchester Estates as Isabella heads the company after another family tragedy, and starts to implement her less than popular strategies. Disliked at work and lonely in her private life Isabella makes a relationship choice that is ultimately her undoing.
And Erin, beautiful and dedicated to the continuation of her father’s company, rectifies the consequences of Isabella’s reign at Lanchester Estates. In love with Rob Dudley, their on, off and on again relationship runs throughout the story, but determined never to marry, not having had any experience of happy ever afters to make her reconsider.
It’s impossible not to be drawn in by these very realistic and distinct personalities. I love the writing style very much, the humour and the easy, eloquent expression. The complex relationships and complicated family dynamics, the love, loss, and the promise of new life, along with the devastation of dementia and the complexities of mental illness are all written extremely well.
I also love Jim Dudley and Raine Grey’s romance and I’m so glad their characters weren’t too closely represented by their historical counterparts, they are two of my favourites and their relationship is very moving and quite tragic. This is so compelling and after the ending I hope there will be more to come!
Liz chose to read and review Last Child by Terry Tyler
Last Child by Terry Tyler
Last Child by Terry Tyler
After the tremendous success of Terry Tyler’s, “Kings and Queens,” set in recent times but based on the Tudor court of Henry VIII, its follow up, “Last Child,” was a treat I was looking forward to. And it doesn’t disappoint.
At the beginning of the novel we find orphaned Isabella, Erin and Jasper, the modern representations of Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and Edward VI living in Lanchester Hall with their stepmother Kate and her new young husband Aiden Seymour. Soon 16 year old Erin’s flirtatious relationship with 32 year old Aiden gets out of hand and Kate leaves. Luckily ex- nanny Hannah Cleveley is on hand to provide some security and stability for the mixed-up half-brother and sisters.
The story is told in the words of several key characters giving the reader a variety of perspectives and making you care about their lives. Hannah is a loving observer of the family who steps in whenever there is a crisis, “mentally loosening” her stays!
Jaz is a typical teenage boy who despite losing his parents so young has the potential to lead the family company successfully once he has grown up. In the meantime he’s rather naughty and delightfully describes his family in terms of Harry Potter characters. He is so vibrant that when disaster strikes it is still a shock.
Isabella is, as expected, a crazy mixed up young lady, full of resentment and jealousy. As she aptly comments, “My life is more Greek tragedy than Hugh Grant film.” Her relationship with Philip Castillo is doomed from the start and it is hardly surprising that employees in the company call her “the Mad Axe woman.”
Erin can charm the birds from the trees. People warm to her and men find her very attractive. Her on/off relationship with Robert Dudley is a major part of the plot and he is also a charismatic and likeable character. They are good friends but there is also, “an explosive chemistry,” between them. She is astute in business and determined not to give up the reins by burying herself in marriage.
Alongside these events there are many other sub plots. We see the self-destruction of psychosis and schizophrenia and the slow deterioration of the mind caused by Alzheimer’s. But the overall theme of the book is love, much of it unrequited, and its consequences. Perhaps the most touching story is that of Raine Grey and Jim Dudley which departs from the Tudor events into a warm but sad relationship.
The final part of the book is doom-laden. You feel as if everything is going to go wrong but will it? But there is a wonderful epilogue promising exciting events in the future. Terry’s excellent plotting and witty turn of phrase make Lost Child a delight to read and I feel as if I know all the characters almost as well as my own family.
Day 9 of the A to Z Challenge and my these is characters from books I’ve read, plus a little audience participation piece.
Letter I is for Isabella Lanchester from Last Child by Terry Tyler
Last Child is the much anticipated sequel to Kings and Queens. It’s a modern day take of the loves and lives of The Tudor descendants of Henry VIII. Kings and Queens introduced us to Harry Lanchester, property developer and his six wives again in a mirrored modern day setting. With Last Child we read about similar mirrored lives of his children. Jasper – Edward VI, Isabella – Mary I and Erin – Elizabeth I written with a fictional take which brings these modern characters alive.
It’s a stand alone book but you would get so much more from it if you first read Kings and Queens because many of the characters return in this wonderful tribute. There is an introduction to set the scene and a link to helpful historical notes if it’s a period of history you are unfamiliar with. The book is written in three parts like the reign of the three characters from history and the chapters within are told from the points of view of many of the wonderful colourful players in the story.
With (King) Harry dead, twelve year old Jasper is son and heir to the Lanchester estates, Uncle Ned Seymour is appointed to run the company until Jasper is of age. Jasper and Erin are living in the care of their stepmother Kate who recently married Jasper’s Uncle Aiden. Within the business there are fighting factions, Jim Dudley is assisting Ned but doesn’t get on well with him. Erin and Isabella are divided in whom they support while Jaz, as he likes to be called is really just an out of control teenager raging against life and hormones.
Having lost both his parents Jaz finds it really hard at times to express himself and ex-nanny Hannah Cleveley suggests he uses a Dictaphone as a type of therapy. As a reader it’s a lovely way to reach inside the mind of a teenage boy and shows the pressures he feels life puts on him and how he copes.
When disaster strikes, the door to managing Lanchester estates is opened for Isabella to take over, we have a brief interlude when the storyline turns to the life and events which surround Raine Grey who in history was Lady Jane Grey who reigned for just nine days. I wanted to dislike Raine when we first met her but she became one of my favourite characters by the end.
During Isabella’s time as manager of Lanchester estates, she rules with an iron-fist and an unpopular one too. Desperate to find someone to share her life and to pour her love into she has a holiday romance with Philip Castillo who she meets in Spain. Everyone can see it’s a disastrous choice except Isabella who becomes so intense that it drives her to madness.
Waiting in the wings is Erin, a chestnut haired beauty who has worked hard and is valued by all those around her. A strong supporter of her family and friends, she’s not been left untarnished by the tragic events that surround her life. Seeing so many of those she loves die and aware of the disastrous trail of marriage break-downs that she has witnessed, she vows never to marry despite the constant companionship and on/off relationship she has with Rob Dudley.
I knew the end of the book was near but I wanted to shout NO when I reached the last line, I wanted more. When a book leaves you emotional and begging for more it’s definitely a sign of a brilliant read. Worth everyone of it’s five stars and more.
Karen chose to read and review Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler
Kings and Queens – Terry Tyler
The book introduces you to Harry Lanchester, second born of a property development dynasty. When his older brother Alex comes to hazard, he is destined to become the future leader of the company.
With Kings and Queens, Terry Tyler has created a rather intriguing story of a family with interesting parallels to Henry VIII and his wives. Kings and Queens is an entertaining and gripping read with all too real characters. Terry Tyler carefully lets her characters evolve – a true art. I was drawn into the story right away, feeling like a close observer. I didn’t really like Harry – and I feel good about it: He is masterly portrayed as a despicable person – at least from my point of view. All other characters equally real with all their virtues and/or flaws. Kings and Queens is a great read for family saga and drama fans, readers who like parallels to history.
This is definitely not my usual genre. Despite that, I consider this a book to read again.
Alison chose to read and review Kings and Queens by terry Tyler
Kings and Queens – Terry Tyler
Sometimes, as a writer, I read a book that makes me think ‘I wish I’d thought of that!’ ‘Kings and Queens’ is a wonderful, clever book that brings the infamous history of Henry VIII and his many wives into modern times, detailing the life and loves of Harry Lanchester as he unexpectedly inherits control of his father’s company.
This is a real page turner with realistically drawn characters that hold your attention through every marriage, affair, dodgy deal and tragedy. The multiple viewpoints work really well and give the reader the opportunity to see Harry from many different sides, not all flattering. It was enjoyable to get into the shoes of the women he falls in love with and the narration of his friend Will brought another perspective as his view of his friend developed over the years, loyal still but increasingly more able to see the flaws.
The attention to detail as the characters grow up and move through the decades was excellent – the economic ups and downs and the fashions (those eighties shoulder pads), food, music and tastes of the decades was spot on.
Terry Tyler makes writing look easy (although of course it isn’t) and shows great skill in this engaging, entertaining read.
Cathy chose to read and review Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler
Kings and Queens – Terry Tyler
This novel promises to be uniquely different in its concept and delivery. And actually, that promise is fulfilled…in spades. The storyline and characters very artfully parallel the life and times of Henry VIII in a modern day setting.
Handsome and charming, Harry Lanchester makes his first appearance as a sixteen year old wannabe rock star and his story is told initially from the viewpoint of Harry’s best friend, Will. Thereafter we see Harry through the eyes of each of his wives in turn, combined with short chapters from Will, who acts almost as an impartial onlooker and supporter. Even when he disagrees with Harry and suspects him of a terrible act, Will feels unwilling and, possibly, unable to confront his friend.
Harry’s dream of rock stardom was shattered with the death of his elder brother. This tragedy meant Harry was next in line to head the family’s property development company, after the death of his father. Harry steps into, not only his brother’s shoes, but also his fiancée’s heart. He rises to the challenge of running the company, and being married, at such a young age with the complete belief his authority, charm and position would get him the wife, mistress or business deal he wanted.
Each of his wives, whose names were very cleverly adapted, have their own individual take on Harry as a man and husband. Their opinions are balanced by Will’s, coming from the perspective of a life long friend, and reading them all gives very differing viewpoints on the personality and conduct of one man. In doing so they also disclose their own characteristics and weaknesses.
Terry Tyler has, with a compelling and perceptive approach, brought the obviously very well researched historical characters to life in a contemporary guise. They all have depth and a realism that gives rise to the thought that, even through the ages, nothing much changes in human behaviours. Told with wit, humour and no small amount of pathos, the engaging narrative chronicles Harry’s life over almost four decades of decadent living. As Harry’s excesses continue unabated and accelerating, his decline begins in earnest after Keira’s death, the manner of which affects him to ever greater degrees as the years pass.
A fantastic interpretation, extremely well executed, resulting in a fascinating and enjoyable read.
“In this book Terry Tyler draws her own story of Henry VIII, setting it in the modern day.
Harry Lanchester is a property magnate and will amaze the readers with his personality and behaviour. He is a decadent libertine who gets exactly what he wants, his way and divorces or “beheads” his multiple wives and mistresses when he is tired of them. Quite a cold and sometimes childlike character, Harry is a self indulgent man and Terry, through his six wives’ points of view and his best friend Will Brandon describes him as often a pathetic figure. For me it was difficult to decide if I liked or I hated him.Readers will be caught up by King and Queens, a real page turner and saga through the Lanchester family dramas, betrayals and mayhem. For readers who know the story of Henry the VIII, Kings and Queens offers a new interpretation of the Tudor period at a modern level, proving that human nature doesn’t change over decades. Whether it is about a reign or just about a family business, people love and hate and are going through many of the same dramas today.”Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com
Today our book review from the recent Book Review Challenge series if from Noelle.
She chose to review “Kings and Queens” by Terry Tyler.
Terry Tyler’s book, Kings and Queens, is a fast-paced romp through the life of England’s Henry VIII, but set in modern times with modern characters. For anyone who knows the story of Henry’s six wives (divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived) and for those with a wicked enjoyment of the foibles of historical figures, this book roars.
Even if you are not a fan of English history and know nothing of the metaphors and references the author has slyly inserted into the story, this book will draw you in as contemporary fiction, demonstrating that the human foibles are ageless and that a historical family drama can repeat itself.
Harry Lanchester, red-headed, fun-loving, ne’er do well, inherits the reins of a large property development company when his older brother Alex, the heir apparent, is killed. His story is told by the contemporary counterparts of each of Henry VIII’s six wives – actually five wives and a nanny who loves Harry but is rejected. The calm and insightful perspective of Will Brandon, Henry’s best and oldest friend, weaves together their unique and compelling voices.
The author has done a yeoman’s job of integrating historical figures from Tudor times. Charles Brandon, for example, was Henry VIII’s oldest friend, once married to his sister, Mary Tudor. The modern Will Brandon was married for a time to Harry’s sister Dahlia. Other names with Tudor ties – Rochford, Blunt, Wyatt, Seymour and Dudley – find their way into the narrative.
The characters are wonderful – from the self-indulgent, over-bearing, charismatic Harry, to the motherly older Cathy, the stunning and driven Annette, the sweet and simple Jenny, the frumpish but practical nanny Hannah, the former lap dancer Keira, and the patient and understanding final wife, Kate. These women lead you down the twisting, never-boring road of life in the Lanchester family.
This is a great read, and I’m looking forward to a sequel featuring the Lanchester children, especially the son Harry wanted so much he was willing to marry again and again to get: the spoiled and entitled Jasper.
Kings and Queens is rich in the sins and peccadillos of the wealthy and entitled, those that captivate readers across the board. Bravo to Terry Tyler for giving us such a sumptuous read with a grand historical twist.
Today’s Book Review Challenge reviewer is Elaine Jeremiah.
Elaine has read and reviewed Kings and Queens by Terry Tyler
Here is Elaine’s Review;
An intriguing twist on a well-known historical saga
This book was a slow burner for me. I felt it took a while to get going, in terms of the action unfolding. But once it did the story pulled me along and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I thought the idea of updating the story of Henry 8th and his six wives to modern day Britain was ingenious. The story begins in the seventies when Harry Lanchester takes over the running of the family business when his father dies. Tyler goes on to tell the tale of Harry and his succession of wives and mistresses in a saga which spans four decades. Tyler depicts the passing decades with accuracy and nothing ever felt anachronistic as I was reading it.
I thought that Tyler did a fantastic job in getting inside the heads of Harry’s love interests. All of the six women were completely different from each other in terms of character and disposition, and that helped to make the story move along quickly. I think the character who stood out for me the most was the updated Anne Boleyn – Annette Hever. I really felt that Tyler almost resurrected Anne Boleyn in the form of this modern character and she felt so real – I could easily understand how she’d taken Harry’s heart and then lost it again.
Harry Lanchester was equally believable and knowing a little bit about Henry 8th, I could easily picture him in my mind. He’s an equally likeable and ‘loathable’ character and I thought that Tyler mirrored Henry 8th’s character with that of the modern Harry perfectly.
You don’t have to know anything about history to enjoy this novel and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a gripping story with an exciting plot and memorable characters.