"If you like Bernard Conwell's Grail Quest series, you'll love The French Executioner and The Curse of Anne Boleyn. To my mind Cornwell is good, but Humphreys is better."—Sally Zigmund, Historical Novels Review (UK)
The last thing Jean Rombaud expects upon being summoned to behead Anne Boleyn is to dedicate his life to her. But the ill-fated queen has a mysterious request for her executioner: that after taking her life he also take her infamous six-fingered hand and bury it at a sacred crossroads in France. His oath will set Jean on the most dangerous journey of his life.
In The French Executioner, C.C. Humphreys once again brings the past to life in all its glory and peril. This thrilling novel captures the breathtaking story of how courage, love, and loyalty bound Anne Boleyn to the man who ended her life—and saved her legacy.
"Humphreys has fashioned a rollicking good yarn that keeps the pages turning from start to finish."—Irish Examiner
"A wonderful saga of magic and heroism. If you can find a first impression, hoard it and wait till it rises in value like a first edition of Lord of the Rings. This is as good."—Crime Time, UK
"A brilliant, brutal, and absorbing historical thriller on the real-life figure of Jean Rombaud, the man who beheaded Anne Boleyn."—Northern Echo
"An entertaining read—a charming page turner."—Edmonton Journal
"Lightning paced."—Publishing News
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About the Author
Chris (C.C.) Humphreys is an actor, playwright, fight choreographer and novelist. He has written nine historical fiction novels including The French Executioner, runner up for the CWA Steel Dagger for Thrillers; Vlad The Last Confession, the epic novel of the real Dracula; and A Place Called Armageddon. His latest YA novel is The Hunt of the Unicorn. His work has been translated into thirteen languages. Find out more about him on his website: http://cchumphreys.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Although this novel is set during the Tudor era, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the main focus of the story was the Jean Rombaud. The story centers around Anne Boleyn’s 6th finger, which the executioner cut off at her request at the moment of beheading, and in which she wanted him to bury it in a secret place in France within a set period. But the finger is stolen by an Archbishop who witnessed the execution for his own greedy purposes. Honor bound to his promise to the dead queen, Jean sets off in pursuit of the Archbishop to recover the relic. Along the way, he accumulates a colorful cast of characters to aid him in his quest. I loved this swashbuckling action and adventure novel. The storyline had plenty of twists and turns, with plenty of fight scenes, setbacks, and dangerous circumstances to keep me reading to the very end. The story had a touch of fantasy to it too, but it was done in a highly credible way. My favourite part of the book was Jean Rombaud’s encounter with Anne Boleyn before and after the execution. It was brilliantly done and remains as one of the most vivid scenes throughout this rich novel. Another winner by Humphrey! A stunning, fun tale!
4 out of 5 for this reader folks! WELL .... that was quite different from what I expected and what I have ever read before. When I read the synopsis I figured out that this was not going to be a traditional "Tudor" historical fiction, but I still wasn't expecting such a far fetched, rich, magical adventure that I discovered. This isn't a negative remark in any sense as many love the art of fantasy fiction and it is brilliant to take such a well known chunk of history (Queen Anne and her beheading) and then not just focus on that, but focus on another one of her body parts and the man that removed it (as well as her head). "The French Executioner" by C.C. Humphreys is about Jean Rombaud who was the french man with the expert sword that ending the famous Queen's life. Before the task was completed, Anne made Jean promise to take her six fingered hand and bury it at a certain place at a certain time as it's now a relic. Once the beheading is complete, Jean begins his journey by having the relic stolen from underneath him. Now facing the task of recovery and full filling a promise, Jean takes us on quite the adventure. We are taken to place after place, experience fight after fight and understand why Jean is so motivated to make this vow a reality. He comes from such sad circumstances and you get the sense that if he can keep this promise he has redeemed himself some what. Will not share any more than that about the story. While I may have thought I was going to get another historical fiction of the Tudor dynasty, I was pleasantly surprised that instead, I indulged in a medieval fantasy plot. I mean who has ever read anything about the man that beheaded the infamous Queen of England? Who has ever heard or thought to write about her six fingered hand and then make it a relic? SO UNIQUE! I will say it did take me a little bit to get into this book. I did think to myself a few times "Pick it up all ready!", but once the picking up happened, I was committed to the read. I do prefer my Tudor historical fiction on the more traditional side, but reading this book was like a breath of fresh air that left me wondering/anticipating where/what I was about to experience. If you enjoy anything Tudor, you should give this book a try. HAPPY READING! :)
¿The French Executioner¿ is C.C. Humphreys¿ first novel and I was quite excited when I finally obtained a copy. The first half of the volume delivers, containing many of the intrigues and dynamism that make Mr. Humphreys¿ later works marvelous reads. However, ¿The French Executioner¿ begins to falter half-way through becoming a mishmash of rescues, counter-rescues and ¿don¿t kill him yet¿ scenarios. Even though the story is enjoyable and the plot swift, I don¿t feel Mr. Humphreys¿ sly wit and writing strength are strongly present here.
Cartoonish characters thrown together in unrealistic situations with predictable results. Sappy, two-dimensional relationships. Three or four grades of quality below Dorothy Dunnett, Patrick O'Brien, or the other more skilled historical fictionalists. How many times can you employ the word "huge" in describing a character's physique?
I have read many of C.C. Humphries and find each one as delightful as the last. A wonderful, energetic action/thriller! ~*~LEB~*~
Not what I expected but delightfully entertaining. I usually prefer historical fiction to present a reasonably plausible narrative. Despite The French Executioner being more fantasy than I typically read, I was entertained; sometimes quite humorous, frequently bluntly gory and always interesting. I might not choose to read it again but it was good enough to convince me to read the sequel.