The Anne Boleyn Society Book Review: “The King’s Witch: Frances Gorges Historical Trilogy, Book I”, by Tracy Borman

by James Peacock


I just finished reading The King’s Witch by Tracy Borman, her first novel.

I don’t think my review will do enough justice to this incredible book. Filled with intrigue, suspense and drama, you the reader is drawn in to the dangerous world of the early Stuart court in England, where the hunt for witchcraft is at its height, and the heroine of the story – Frances Gorges – learns there are very few people she can really trust, and people are not who she believed them to be.

Set around the time of the infamous Gunpowder Plot, you will be pulled right into the dazzling and corrupt world of the court. The characters are effortlessly brought to life, and you feel as if they are standing right in front of you, living and breathing. You walk literally walk through the corridors and rooms of these magnificent palaces and stately homes (many of which are long since gone), seeing the magnificent tapestries and paintings with your own eyes.

The key characters in this story besides Frances are Robert Cecil, Queen Anne, Princess Elizabeth and King James I.

There is also a very interesting take on the Gunpowder Plot, and a particular important figure being a supporter of it, but I will leave that for people to discover when they read the book. 

As I was reading this book, I could really feel the story coming to life as if I was actually watching a TV production of the book rather then reading it. The only negative was that it the book had to come to an end. It is not often that when you finish a book you feel as though you have said goodbye to a friend, but in this in case you do. It is, without doubt, a book I shall return to again and again. Five stars are recognition not enough for this masterpiece.

If you are reading this film/tv producers, please bring this book to the live screen. 



Tracy Borman

Tracey Borman is a historian and most recently a historical fiction author from Scothern, United Kingdom. She is most widely known as the author of Elizabeth’s Women, The Private Lives of the Tudors, and Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII’s Most Faithful Servant.

Tracy Borman was born and brought up in the village of Scothern, England near Lincoln. She was educated at Scothern Primary School (now Ellison Boulters School), William Farr School, Welton, and Yarborough School, Lincoln. She taught history at the University of Hull, where she was awarded a Ph.D. in 1997. Elizabeth’s Women was serialized and became a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week in September 2009.

Tracy Borman is Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust, a charity that encourages children to visit and learn from historic properties through the Sandford Award scheme. She also joint Chief Curator for Historic Royal Palaces, the charity that manages Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace, the Banqueting House, Whitehall and Hillsborough Castle.

If Tracy Borman looks familiar, you are not seeing things. She is a frequent guest expert in English History themed documentaries.



James Peacock

I work as a State Apartment Warder at Hampton Court Palace, a job which gives me the chance to walk in the footsteps of Anne Boleyn and many great and important figures of English/British history. There is nothing more special at times, then standing in the Great Hall at Hampton Court and looking at the surviving Falcon, Anne's symbol, or the entwined HA that possibly got left behind (or is it Victorian?- either way a marvelous tribute). Earlier this year i founded The Anne Boleyn Society on the basis to discuss, debate and deliberate the life and times of the notorious English Queen, second wife to King Henry VIII and mother to Queen Elizabeth I. The page can be found at; and on Twitter; "Society_Anne :)

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