Sunday, 29 June 2014

The Executioner's Daughter

She’d never get used to beheadings. No matter what Pa said.

Moss is the executioner’s daughter and basket girl. The person who has to catch the heads when Pa cuts them off. She lives in The Tower of London during Tudor times. She hates being the basket girl but her father wants to stay in Tower to keep her safe...

This story is scary but not spooky because it is about real life, mostly... Moss’s own story, set in the sharp detail of everyday life, against the background of Tudor history.  What makes the book so exciting is the characters you meet and the fact that you know the ending is going to happen but you don’t know whose side it will be on.

Without giving away too much, you will meet The Ragged Man with his huge moving sack, Two Bellies the bully, Salter the sneaky boot stealer, Anne Boleyn and Nell who smells of wee.

The Executioner’s Daughter by Jane Hardstaff (Egmont 2014) is a capturing book that makes you want to keep reading. It’s as good as Rooftoppers which means it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. I’d say it’s for about 9 plus because I got scared reading it at school and even my dad was scared when he read it! It may put off boys because the main character is a girl, but it is serious and sinister and not mundane like pony books or babyish like princess books.

My question for Jane Hardstaff would be if she is going to write a book about Salter?


Jane Hardstaff replies:

What a lovely review - thank you! I'm so glad you felt my story was better than mundane pony books. Maybe if someone were to write about evil ponies, that would be worth reading...

When I wrote The Executioner's Daughter, it was always my hope that readers would live the story with Moss, so to hear you were excited (and scared) is brilliant. It's a tricky thing to write convincingly and scarily. Sometimes I use my own experiences and feelings to plunge myself into Moss' head. Anyway, I hope you weren't too traumatised!

To answer your question - am I going to write a book about Salter? Well, I am writing a sequel to The Executioner's Daughter. It's called River Daughter and is basically the story of what happens to Moss and Salter's friendship when an old acquaintance of Salters called Eel-Eye Jack, comes between them. So, there's a LOT of Salter in the next book. He's a joyous character to write - full of cussing and mischievous little sayings.

Anyway, good luck with your blog and your hair is the best.


Alongside The Executioner's Daughter, Rooftoppers is still possibly the best book of all. Click on Older Posts to read about it.