The Path to Somerset (The Seymour Saga) (Volume 2)

Written by Janet Wertman
Review by Linnea Tanner

The Path to Somerset is the second book in the Seymour Saga. The novel covers the career of Edward Seymour, starting in March 1539, when Queen Jane has been dead for a year and a half and King Henry VIII is considering a foreign bride. Edward, the eldest brother of Queen Jane, must outmaneuver the unfolding schemes of his formidable rivals—the Duke of Norfolk and Stephen Gardiner, the Bishop of Winchester—who want to advance themselves and to return England to Catholic traditions. Edward, with the aid of his devoted wife, must survive the political upheaval after Chancellor Cromwell is executed for his ill-fated plot for King Henry to marry the German Protestant princess, Anne of Cleves. Edward cleverly plays his hand through two more queens until he brings down Bishop Gardiner and the Duke of Norfolk and becomes the Lord Protector of England upon King Henry’s death.

Author Wertman masterfully weaves the political intrigue of the Tudor court by using the points of view of both Edward Seymour and Bishop Gardiner. Headers highlighting the date and setting before each scene provide a roadmap of tumultuous events during the final days of King Henry’s reign. The narrative is engaging, and characters come to life on the page. Edward is presented in a favorable light as a devoted husband with high ideals. To ensure his family’s survival and legacy, he must embrace ruthlessness to overcome his foes and to claim victory as the Lord Protector to guide his young nephew, King Edward, until his adulthood.

Readers interested in political machinations during the Tudor dynasty will find the novel engaging from the perspectives of two rivals. Highly recommended.