“Catherine the Inquisitor” by Leigh Jenkins

Leigh Jenkins is a “alternate reality historical fiction” writer and the author of the “Six Lives of Henry VIII” series.  It is narrated by Henry, which is why I gave this, the first volume in the series a try.  I have only read one other alternate reality novel about Henry’s court, “Had the Queen Lived”, which is obviously about what would have happened had Anne not miscarried the son she and Henry conceived.  It is written very much like a non-fiction text book, and much more detailed than this book, but still very interesting.  The books in “The Six Lives of Henry VIII” are pretty fast reads, which is fine for me since I can only read for a certain amount of time every day either online or offline or I get eye strain.

Catherine the Inquisitor is about what could have happened if Henry and Catherine of Aragon’s son Henry had lived instead of dying at six weeks old.  Catherine and Henry stay married, and a new fate is written for Anne Boleyn, her sister Mary, and everyone else involved in Henry’s life.  Catherine’s parents are behind the Spanish Inquisition, and Catherine creates her own Inquisition with her son constantly by her side.  Heretics and rebels are dealt with cruelly by Catherine and Henry Jr.’s command in this story, not Henry’s.

If you are interested in alternate reality historical fiction, this is a great place to start.

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