Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

“Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel is a kind of book that gets better, the more you think about it.”

I have always been fascinated by the life of Henry the VIII, and adding, reading through the perspective of Thomas Cromwell, another identity in history whose rise and fall is essential and is directly connected to the history of Tudors, the feeling I am getting now after finished reading the book is staggering.

The majority of the pages cover Cromwell’s career as he advances from being a Cardinal’s aide to the king’s trusted advisory. The author has totally tried to keep it the historical events as realistic as necessary and not altering a single event for the sake of fiction. Many people have not completely read the book and the major defying factor of the book is it’s pace which is quite slow and does not go well with the story. The plot, what to say about it, it’s almost perfect but then I would say as compared to the timeline the book covers the plot is quite micro. More than a novel, it’s kind of a play. The plot advances more with dialogues and less with actions. I quite enjoyed that. And as the plot advances the reader can certainly notice that the current book is very much essential and the plot justifies itself for the next two books in this trilogy. Why it won the Man Booker Prize? It’s not for me to decide.

Mantel’s character are fully realistic, I pictured each and every situation with no difficulty in my imagination when I was reading it. Thomas Cromwell, is of course, both the star of the show and her book, she made me met a new Thomas Cromwell, which I was certainly not expecting and I am quite surprised.

Wolf Hall tells the story of King Henry VIII, his relationship with Anne Boleyn, his divorce from Katherine of Aragorn, and his falling out with the Catholic Church. The tale is told from the point of view of Thomas Cromwell who becomes a kind of fixer for the king.

As I quoted earlier, the book gets better the more I think about it. If you are interested in reading historical fiction, I think you should go for it. And I am sure, you’ll end up reading the trilogy. I can’t wait to read the next book.

3 out of 5


18 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel”

  1. I thought this was a good book, not my favorite but still ok. I am currently reading a book called Strange Birth, Short Life and Sudden Death of Justice Girl by Julian David Stone. It’s a great look at 1950’s TV and the era in NYC at the time. It’s been a great read. is the author’s site, I recommend it as it’s a great look at the 50’s and TV coming into it’s own.


  2. I have this sitting on my shelf. i made one attempt. There were so many characters I was little overwhelmed as i do read on average three books at once so i had trouble keeping Hilary’s long list of characters in my head. One day i will try again.


  3. I loved Wolf Hall. In fact, I think I would like to have been one of Cromwell’s family. Loyalty and trust were so very important to him and he would do what he had to in order to do the right thing – at least according to Hilary Mantell. I am in the middle of Bring out the bodies – I have other things to read and so am taking my time with it. Not wanting it to end.

    There is a series of books written about that same period that are less hard core history and more fictional murder mysteries – they are about a Solicitor called Matthew Shardlake, written by C J Sansome. There are 4, Dark Fire being the first in the series. I find them riveting as well.


    1. Hi, well I agree with your point about loyalty, I observed the same. Bringing up bodies, is in my next month’s TBR list. I’ll let you know, when I am done with it.
      Thanks, I’ll surely check Sansome’s books. Happy Reading! 🙂


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