The French Executioner by C.C. Humphreys-Review and Giveaway
The French Executioner
by C.C. Humphreys
Re-release Date: October 7, 2014
Genre: historical, fiction
It is 1536 and the expert swordsman Jean Rombaud has been brought over from France by Henry VIII to behead his wife, Anne Boleyn. But on the eve of her execution Rombaud swears a vow to the ill-fated queen – to bury her six-fingered hand, symbol of her rumoured witchery, at a sacred crossroads. Yet in a Europe ravaged by religious war, the hand of this infamous Protestant icon is so powerful a relic that many will kill for it… From a battle between slave galleys to a Black Mass in a dungeon, through the hallucinations of St Anthony’s Fire to the fortress of an apocalyptic Messiah, Jean seeks to honour his vow.
4 out of 5 for this reader folks!
WELL …. that was quite different from what I expected and what I have ever read before. When I read the synopsis I figured out that this was not going to be a traditional “Tudor” historical fiction, but I still wasn’t expecting such a far fetched, rich, magical adventure that I discovered. This isn’t a negative remark in any sense as many love the art of fantasy fiction and it is brilliant to take such a well known chunk of history (Queen Anne and her beheading) and then not just focus on that, but focus on another one of her body parts and the man that removed it (as well as her head).
“The French Executioner” by C.C. Humphreys is about Jean Rombaud who was the french man with the expert sword that ending the famous Queen’s life. Before the task was completed, Anne made Jean promise to take her six fingered hand and bury it at a certain place at a certain time as it’s now a relic. Once the beheading is complete, Jean begins his journey by having the relic stolen from underneath him. Now facing the task of recovery and full filling a promise, Jean takes us on quite the adventure. We are taken to place after place, experience fight after fight and understand why Jean is so motivated to make this vow a reality. He comes from such sad circumstances and you get the sense that if he can keep this promise he has redeemed himself some what.
Will not share any more than that about the story. While I may have thought I was going to get another historical fiction of the Tudor dynasty, I was pleasantly surprised that instead, I indulged in a medieval fantasy plot. I mean who has ever read anything about the man that beheaded the infamous Queen of England? Who has ever heard or thought to write about her six fingered hand and then make it a relic? SO UNIQUE!
I will say it did take me a little bit to get into this book. I did think to myself a few times “Pick it up all ready!”, but once the picking up happened, I was committed to the read. I do prefer my Tudor historical fiction on the more traditional side, but reading this book was like a breath of fresh air that left me wondering/anticipating where/what I was about to experience.
If you enjoy anything Tudor, you should give this book a try.
Copy supplied by the publisher.
Reviewed by Rachel T.
C.C. Humphreys (aka Chris Humphreys) was born in Toronto, Canada, and grew up in Los Angeles and London. A third generation actor and writer on both sides of his family, he returned to Canada in the nineties and there his writing career began. He won the inaugural playwriting competition of the New Play Centre, Vancouver with his first play, ‘A Cage Without Bars’ which was produced in Vancouver and London. He was a schoolboy fencing champion, became a fight choreographer and thus turned his love of swashbuckling towards historical fiction. He is married and lives in Finchley, North London.
C.C.’s publisher is graciously offering a paper copy to ONE (1) commenter at The Reading Cafe.
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7. Giveaway is U.S. only
8. Giveaway runs from October 20-October 24, 2014, 2014