Official Review: Seven Will Out by joann spears

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
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debo9967
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Official Review: Seven Will Out by joann spears

Post by debo9967 » 27 Jan 2016, 02:38

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Seven Will Out" by joann spears.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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What would historical figures have to say about the controversies they have left behind for future generations? Well, Dolly here, is about to find out.

In Seven Will Out: A Renaissance Novel, the sequel to Six of One: A Tudor Riff by author JoAnn Spears, Dolly is in for another girl’s night out with some famous Tudor ladies. In the previous book, Dolly, a history professor by profession, lost consciousness during her bachelorette party and ended up in the astral plane with the six wives of Henry VIII (the king of England from 1509 to 1547). Her dream interview with these six ladies proved beneficial for both the sides involved. So, this time around the younger generation of the Tudor period decides to seek Dolly’s help. Dolly’s second fainting spell, right before an important speech she has to make, teleports her back to the astral plane, where she has been summoned to meet some important personalities like Elizabeth I, ‘Bloody’ Mary, Mary, Queen of Scots, and some other famous females of that period. What is the secret they conceal that will not only mean rewriting of history, but shake the foundations of the literary world as well?

First off, readers are advised to go through the short genealogical chart provided at the end of the book to refresh their memory about the Tudors and the English court in that period. A quick revision of English history of that period won’t hurt either. Now that I have got that out of the way, let me say that this is a book in the historical fiction genre, and not only is it fiction to a T, it also a non-serious take on Tudor history.

The concept of the book is fascinating; with the author introducing a humorous twist to Tudor history. While the story is replete with tongue-in-cheek humor, especially the execution faux pas running throughout the book, there is also political intrigue and conspiracy to keep the reader hooked. The clever parallels drawn with Dolly’s life, add to the mix. The author doesn’t stray too far from actual verifiable history, with one major exception, but what is different is her interpretation of the historical events and what might have been the motivation for various political figures to act as they did, for example, for ‘Bloody’ Mary to peruse religious persecution during her reign.

There is a lot of sentiment involved too, but when the book is considered as a whole, the sentimental portion comes across as a bit silly. Coming back to the plot, almost half of the book is over before the reader comes to the central plot. There are a lot of peripheral characters with their own stories to finish before the intended seven characters enter the scene, and their interaction, not unlike Cinderella’s appearance at the ball, is on a tight schedule.

The book is written in first person narrative, with the author’s rich vocabulary complementing the story. While I enjoyed the descriptions of the attire and other paraphernalia in the Elizabethan era, the excessive emphasis on the farthingales, ruffs, et al was slightly annoying. So was the overuse of rhymes in the titles of the chapters.

The book gets full marks on concept, but I’ll take away a star for execution of the plot, which could have been sharper. Readers who enjoy historical fiction, especially spoofs and parodies, should not miss out on this entertaining, somewhat nonsensical, spin on the Tudors & Co. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars.

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Seven Will Out
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Post by chytach18- » 03 Feb 2016, 04:23

I am going to add this book to my reading list. Awesome review, debo.
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Post by Anki_Real_Reviews » 03 Feb 2016, 05:18

Wow! I am more mesmerized by your review than the book. Your word selection is truly inspirational. As for the book, I think I am going to add it to my 'To-Read' bookshelf.
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Post by Rachaelamb1 » 03 Feb 2016, 07:26

I'm not sure I've ever read a humorous historical fiction novel. This sounds interesting.... I loved studying the Tudors in high school.
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Post by bookowlie » 03 Feb 2016, 11:44

Nice review! The premise of this book looks really interesting and I like the added humor/spoof element. I am going to add this one to my readling list.
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Post by debo9967 » 04 Feb 2016, 02:19

Thanks, all of you! :)
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Post by anonanemone » 04 Feb 2016, 11:16

Great review! I think I would read Six of One: A Tudor Riff first since this is a sequel.
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Post by debo9967 » 06 Feb 2016, 02:13

Thanks! :)
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Post by ananya92 » 09 Feb 2016, 03:17

The concept seems quite refreshing and interesting. Great review!

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Post by debo9967 » 09 Feb 2016, 10:54

Thank you! :)
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Post by shelley_soetosenojo » 09 Feb 2016, 16:20

Great review. It made me very interested in the book. I like historical novels especially set in England or Scotland. What really draws me to the story is the author's take of the historical facts. Hope to see more reviews by you.
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Post by debo9967 » 10 Feb 2016, 02:20

Thank you! :)
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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 10 Feb 2016, 09:39

I have read a lot of books about the Tudors and I enjoyed them immensely. However, all of them were serious historical fiction which, I think, is different from this one. Great review!

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Post by debo9967 » 11 Feb 2016, 03:04

Thank you! :)
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