Bring Up The Bodies is the second instalment in the Thomas Cromwell series by award-winning author Hilary Mantel. The story begins where Wolf Hall left off. Anne Boleyn is quickly falling out of favour. She has failed to do the one thing she was expect to – to provide Henry with a son and heir. Thomas Cromwell has risen to power alongside the Boleyns. As the king becomes increasingly impatient and worried about the continuity of the Tudor succession, Cromwell must find a way of securing his position as an advisor to the king. Enter the Seymours, his one-way ticket to salvation. Cromwell must find a way of removing Anne Boleyn from the king’s side so that he is free to marry the latest lady of the court to take his fancy, Jane Seymour.
Bring Up The Bodies is a political thriller, an intriguing and detailed interpretation of the role Thomas Cromwell played in the events that marked the reign of Henry VIII. The history of the six wives of Henry VIII and other periods of the Tudor dinasty are stories that have been told on many occassions by different historical fiction writer, yet Hilary Mantel’s approach is a completely different one. She has dedicated her fictional prowess to help unveil the personality of Thomas Cromwell, a prominent player little explored. The potrait she paints of him is incredibly vivid, analysing his trains of thought and the motives behind every one of his moves. Bring Up The Bodies is a tale of grudges, revenge, deceit, convinience and survival. The narrative and stylistic values of Hilary Mantel’s storytelling is undeniable.
Bring Up The Bodies earned Mantel her second Man Booker Prize, the previous having been awarded to her for Wolf Hall, the first instalment of the Thomas Cromwell book series.
5 stars. I couldn’t fault it in any way. It was exciting and interesting from start to finish.