The year is 1539. King Henry VIII is King of England. All three of his wives, Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour are dead. He has three children: Mary, Elizabeth and the long-awaited heir to his throne, Edward. Henry has broken away from the Church of Rome because the Pope would not allow him to divorce his first wife. Anyone who refuses to accept that he is the Supreme Head of the Church of England is accused of an offence that is punishable by death.
That’s how the book begins. And it did not let me down.
Treason, winner of the Carnegie Medal, took me a while to read. There were parts that made me think about why I was reading it. Yet, it was worth it.
To create a protagonist who is weak and most certainly contemptible takes courage.
How can anyone enjoy the story of a soppy page who considers it beneath his dignity to work alongside a boy to whom he owes his life? How can you like a story where the hero mistrusts everyone and makes the stupidest of mistakes?
Yet, how can you not enjoy the story of a child who is, essentially, human and timeless?
Treason is a tale of friendship, humour and love. With this kind of eternal combination, how can it not be well-loved?