Title: King Henry’s Choice
Author: Emily-Jane Hills Orford
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy, Time Travel
There are powers at play that continue to seek amalgamating Scotland to England – powers from the past and powers from the future. It’s the late 1800s and Queen Victoria wants more than mere access to the Scottish retreat at Balmoral Castle. But King Henry I of Scotland, direct descendent of Queen Mary Elizabeth I, the time traveling royal daughter of Mary Queen of Scots, is determined to keep Scotland free and independent and a powerful, progressive nation in its own right. The struggle to protect what is his by birthright becomes a battle that must be fought in the past, the present and the future and in other parts of the world. And, in the midst of each battle, there are choices to be made. Very difficult choices.
King Henry I of Scotland is a direct descent of Queen Mary Elizabeth I and like his great ancestor of the 16th century, he’s a time travelling royal. He’s determined to keep Scotland out of English control, even if he has to go toe-to-toe with Queen Victoria to do it. Enemies surround him, from both the past, present and future, and he doesn’t know who he can truth. When he goes to the future, he’s horrified by what he discovers. He’ll be nobody’s pawn, least of all, a bunch of doctors. But as he soon learns from visiting past events with his son, it’s all about choices. When he’s given the opportunity to change the choice he made years ago, will he take it or will he stay influx, traveling through time trying to stay one step ahead of his traitorous enemies?
King Henry’s Choice is about, you guessed it, choices. Every choice we make in life affects the future and that goes double for royalty in power. Every choice that’s made changes the future for better or worse. This is the premise behind this alternative history. While I enjoyed it, I didn’t like it as much as the first one (Queen Mary’s Daughter). I found the time travel jarring at times and the dropping in of historical people’s names out of their time period confusing. Chalk it up to my expertise on the Tudor era and the Victorian era. I’m sure the average reader will not have the same issues I did.
What I loved most about King Henry’s Choice was the inner conflict Henry faced. His choices are revealing more enemies than he knows what to do with and his guilt over it is heart wrenching. His relationship with his son is touching. It brought up so many what if questions and added to the aha moment at the ending.
If you love historical fiction and want to escape through time, King Henry’s Choice is a must-read. Fans of Doctor Who, The Matrix, Outlander and Victoria will love this story. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 4.5 stars
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Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07X8RV439
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07X8RV439
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07X8RV439
An avid gardener, artist, musician and writer, Emily-Jane Hills Orford has fond memories and lots of stories that evolved from a childhood growing up in a haunted Victorian mansion. Told she had a ‘vivid imagination’, the author used this talent to create stories in her head to pass tedious hours while sick, waiting in a doctor’s office, listening to a teacher drone on about something she already knew, or enduring the long, stuffy family car rides. The author lived her stories in her head, allowing her imagination to lead her into a different world, one of her own making. As the author grew up, these stories, imaginings and fantasies took to the written form and, over the years, she developed a reputation for telling a good story. Emily-Jane can now boast that she is an award-winning author of several books, including Mrs. Murray’s Ghost (Telltale Publishing 2018), Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure (Telltale Publishing 2019), Queen Mary’s Daughter (Clean Reads 2018), Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and several other books. A retired teacher of music and creative writing, she writes about the extra-ordinary in life and the fantasies of dreams combined with memories. For more information on the author, check out her website at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N