Friday Face Of : “The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe… has been answered”


Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme created by Books by Proxy .  This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple each week, following a predetermined theme (list below) choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.   Future week’s themes are listed below – the list has been updated to help out those of you who like to plan ahead – if you have a cover in mind that you’re really wanting to share then feel free to leave a comment about a future suggested theme.  I’ve also listed events that take place during the year, that I’m aware of, so you can link up your covers – if you’re aware of any events that you think I should include then give me a shout.  This week’s theme:

“The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe… has been answered” –  a cover featuring something/somebody historic 

I hope this was an easy theme this week  I thought there was quite a lot to go on, particularly as there are such a lot of reimaginings of various people and events from history.  This week I’ve gone for a book I read a long time ago, I enjoyed it at the time although I can’t remember it terribly well other than being a reimagining of a young Henry VIII’s life:

Only four covers this week:

My favourite:


To be honest, I’m not overly enamoured with any of the covers but I like the dramatic feel to this one.

Which one is your favourite?

Like last week I’ve added a Mr Linky here so that you can leave a link if you wish or please leave me a link in the comments so we can all visit and check out each others covers.  Thanks

I’ve updated the list and included themes through to the end of 2019 – I’ve also included events that I’m aware of so that you can perhaps link your themes up where possible (if you know of an event you’d like to share that let me know in the comments).  I also have a list prepared for 2020 and so will set up a separate page soon for forthcoming themes.  As always, if you wish to submit an idea then leave me a comment.

Next week – A wrap around cover

Future themes: (if you’re struggling with any of these themes then use a ‘freebie’ or one of your favourite covers)


12th July – A wrap around cover

19th July – “You can’t choose between life and death when we’re dealing with what is in between.” – A cover that is grainy or looks like ‘white noise’

26th July – “Ludo ….. down” – A cover that is Upside Down

2nd August – “There are children here somewhere. I can smell them.” A cover featuring children

9th August – “I’m disinclined to acquiesce to your request.” – A cover featuring Pirates

16th August – “The haft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagles own plumes” – a cover featuring feathers

23rd August – A cover that is a movie tie in

30th August – “I wandered lonely as a cloud” – a cover that is predominantly yellow

6th September “Warm September brings the fruit” – a cover that is seasonal for Autumn/Fall

13th September – Friday the 13th – unlucky for some!  A cover with ‘curse’ in the title

20th September – “Your hair is winter fire,January embers.” – A cover featuring hair

27th September – Freebie

4th October – “Feed me Seymour” – A cover that is 60s horror

11th October – ““And, though there should be a world of difference between the smile of a man and the bared fangs of a wolf, with Joss Merlyn they were one and the same.”  – a cover featuring an Inn

18th October – “It’s your favorite scary movie, remember? He had on the white mask, he stalked the babysitters.” – A cover featuring a scream

25th October – for Halloween – pick any scary cover you like

(I’m hoping that November will once again bring to us SciFiMonth – Twitter @SciFiMonth)

1st November – A cover that is predominantly grey

8th November – “big badda boom” – a cover that features an explosion

15th November – “No thinking thing should be another thing’s property, to be turned on and off when it is convenient.” – a cover featuring a robot

22nd November – A cover that is Futuristic

29th November – “When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.” – a cover that is 60s sci fi

6th December – Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this sun of York”  – a cover that puts you in mind of winter

13th December – A cover that features a temple/or religious icon

20th December – Longest Night –  a dark and foreboding cover

27th December – the festive season – a cover that is glittery or sparkling

(2020 – January is Vintage SciFi month so I’ll be including possible themes to take that on board.

VIII by HM Castor

Posted On 8 September 2012

Filed under Book Reviews
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Comments Dropped 12 responses

Just finished reading VIII by HM Castor and will start by saying I loved this book.  It’s a different take on Henry showing us a glimpse into his early years and giving us an alternative view where young Hal is tormented by ghosts and demons.  Don’t be put off by thinking this is some sort of parallel paranormal universe – it isn’t.  It just shows us a different aspect to Henry that we’ve never looked at before not to mention this was a very superstitious era so to a certain extent I think you can get away with writing a bit of ghostliness into the story.

This is a really good historical read.  Clearly the author knows this period well and has researched it extensively.  That’s not to say that the book is overloaded with rich detail about clothes and food, etc, just enough I felt.  The story and writing flow easily and the author has a compelling way with words.

The story is told by Hal and it’s great being inside his head and knowing what he’s thinking.  We start with a young Hal being taken under cover of night to the safety of the Tower with his mother, due to the threat of assassination.  The Tower is dark and foreboding and to Hal’s young eyes appears to carry things in the shadows and eyes that watch him.  I loved this part of the story.  The book was practically unputdownable at this point with hair raising moments combined with true historical fact.  We get a little bit of insight into Henry’s relationship with his mother and father – both completely different affairs.  His father is cruel and distant.  Henry is not the important son after all and not destined for greatness – at least not in anyone else’s eyes.  His mother’s approach is more loving and kind – although this approach is scorned by her husband who thinks she mollycoddles young Hal.  He has a precarious position – he’s desperate to please but at the same time, as his father succinctly warns him, he needs to stay out of the limelight.  After all it’s not unknown for one brother to kill another – either in pursuit of a crown or in order to keep it!

In terms of criticisms.  I don’t personally have any.  I really enjoyed this book.  It was thoughtful, well written, well thought out, creepy and a bit horrible – that is in terms of watching this young boisterous boy turn into something of an ogre.  The style of writing is fairly modern and I suppose some people may object to that although I wouldn’t, I also think that if you’re looking for a story that goes into great depth about Henry’s wives and their untimely ends you may also be disappointed because the latter half of Henry’s life is moved through fairly swiftly.  We probably only have a couple of paragraphs about Anne of Cleves or Kitty Howard for example.  But, again, I had no problem with this.  I’ve read plenty of historical novels that already focus strongly on those elements and this was a lovely and refreshing change that primarily looks at the early years before the tyranny.

I would not hesitate to recommend this book.  I really enjoyed it and it gave me the opportunity to have another read about a period in history that I find fascinating, intriguing and horrifying.  Henry is just such an interesting character.  You can’t help but want to know what drove him and this gives us a different perspective.  I could pick up another novel like this right away.  In fact I understand the author is now moving on to Mary and Elizabeth and frankly I can’t wait to get my hands on that!

I’m submitting this for one of my R.I.P. reads, check out Stainless Steel Droppings autumn event details here and come and join in.