Read The Executioner's Daughter by Jane Hardstaff Online


Thrilling adventure set in the underbelly of the Tower of London and on the Thames in Tudor timesMoss hates her life. As the daughter of the Executioner in the Tower of London, it’s her job to catch the heads in her basket after her father has chopped them off. She dreams of leaving, but they are prisoners with no way out.Then Moss discovers a hidden tunnel that takes herThrilling adventure set in the underbelly of the Tower of London and on the Thames in Tudor timesMoss hates her life. As the daughter of the Executioner in the Tower of London, it’s her job to catch the heads in her basket after her father has chopped them off. She dreams of leaving, but they are prisoners with no way out.Then Moss discovers a hidden tunnel that takes her to freedom, where she learns that her life isn’t what she believes it to be and she doesn’t know who to trust.Her search for the truth takes her on a journey along the great River Thames. Could the answers lie deep in its murky depths?...

Title : The Executioner's Daughter
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781405268288
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 363 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Executioner's Daughter Reviews

  • Tabby
    2019-04-27 19:59

    Received from: Egmont USAReceived Via: THE REVIEWActual rating 2.5 starsWhy this book?When I saw this took place during the Tudor period I had to read itWhat I thoughtThe Executioner’s Daughter is a historical fiction with magical elements set in the Tudor period which appealed to me. Moss was a frustrating character; I couldn’t stand her to tell you the truth. Her father tells her he’s trying to protect her and what does she do? She runs away, little idiot! I love Salter though his parts were a joy to read. Anne Boleyn's future is a significant part of the background which I found fascinating. There’s also a paranormal aspect which adds a little something. Overall an ok read.

  • Erin
    2019-05-03 22:58

    Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....If I learned anything from Jane Hardstaff's The Executioner's Daughter, it's that Egmont and I define 'thrilling adventure' very differently. I mean no offense, but I struggled with this piece, more so than I care to admit considering it is young adult lit. I'd considered abandoning it early on over its juvenile prose alone, but when push comes to shove I'm a bit of a stubborn mule and surrender doesn't come easy.I suppose the biggest difficulty I faced, was a lack of empathy for Moss. Hardstaff tried, but the character didn't interest me in the least and I was incredibly disappointed with how she was presented. She's supposed to be eleven, but there is nothing childlike in her makeup and that fact didn't sit well with me, not when her age is so important to the story at hand. The plot posed another problem in that it was all over the place. Moss' eavesdropping seems preposterously implausible, as did her sojourn to Hampton Court. Anne and Henry's appearance makes absolutely no sense within the context of the narrative and don't get me started on the ridiculousness of the ragged man or the Riverwitch. Elizabeth C. Bunce made this idea work in A Curse Dark as Gold. Hardstaff not so much. The Executioner's Daughter was obviously a miss in my book, but I will confess to a moment of genuine delight. "Gather round, gather round an’ watch,” said Salter. “'Watch carefully, ladies and gents.' He bent down and whisked off the cloth from the box. The smell of the taffetys wafted into the night air. 'Fresh taffetys, lovely as you like!'" It's a short scene, hardly worth mentioning really, but the gutter snipe's little stunt put a grin on my face. I was singing Tobias Ragg by the time I finished it, but I was in a good mood and that's more than I can say for the rest of book. Bottom line, Hardstaff's debut wasn't something I enjoyed and is so disjointed and unpolished that I can't see myself recommending it on in future.

  • Liviania
    2019-05-15 20:04

    This middle grade novel starts like a historical novel. Moss lives with her father in the Tower of London. Anne Boleyn is still alive, but rumors hint that it won't be for long. Moss is frustrated by her life, circumscribed by the bounds of the tower. Even worse, she has to catch the heads (in a basket) of the people her father executes.Then THE EXECUTIONER'S DAUGHTER takes a turn for the supernatural. The folkloric nature of that which lies in wait for Moss makes this seem like a natural transition. It might jar those who expected an actual historical novel, but it doesn't change the tone of the novel.There's a good balance between Moss's legitimate grievances against her father and her inability to see the sacrifices he's made to give her a good life. Running into and banding together with a thief teaches Moss a lot about what it means to be hungry and desperate. That empathy serves her in good stead as the danger grows.I liked that the historical aspects aren't dropped completely. Anne Boleyn's oncoming fate continues to be a significant part of the background, and the two children face realistic threats as often as they face supernatural ones. It's hard out there for a street urchin.The sequel, THE RIVER'S DAUGHTER, is not available in the US. I just might order it from The Book Depository, however. THE EXECUTIONER'S DAUGHTER is a complete adventure; I don't know what the sequel might be about. It's a very good adventure, though, so I'd like to find out.

  • tinabel
    2019-04-21 17:43

    This was an exciting and action-packed read, with ages 9 to 12 in mind. It is historical fiction with magical elements, taking place during the Tudor period. At the centre of it all, is our young heroine, Moss, who is plucky, stubborn, and courageous. As daughter of the Tower of London’s Executioner, Moss is tasked with removing the heads of those beheaded, earning her the moniker of “basket girl.” Wanting to escape a life shrouded in death, Moss finds a way beyond the Tower walls, and goes in search of the waterwheel on the Thames, the place where she was born and her mother died. However, this journey is more dangerous than it seems — there is something frightening and otherworldly lurking in the depths of the river, seeking her out.Along the way, Moss befriends a clever, cunning, and crude young thief, Salter, who is not only the source of much entertainment, but also provides the reader with a look at how a living could be made on the river during this time period. With guest appearances from the Duke of Norfolk, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, and Henry VIII, this is a great novel for young readers who show an interest in historical fiction, as well as those who enjoy tales with a fantastical twist.

  • Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛
    2019-05-15 23:50

    -POTENTIAL SPOILERS- I was surprised when I saw all the hate for this book! While it's not the greatest book I've read, I don't think it deserved all the negative reviews. Most also categorized this as a YA novel, and I even found this in my library's YA section, but I don't think it belongs there, it's very obviously a childrens' book, and while there's nothing wrong with that, I don't know why people keep categorizing it wrong. I'm also disappointed the sequel isn't available in America! While I thought the story wrapped up nicely and didn't need a sequel, I love to finish what I start and therefore that's a bummer.I liked the plot, honestly! I was surprised nobody compared this to Rapunzel, since in my eyes this is definitely a Rapunzel retelling. Girl with strange name is born under bad circumstances and a witch offers to help the mother only if she can have her daughter, and the daughter is thus locked away for several years to prevent the witch from getting her and therefore longs to see the world outside....the minute I read the plot summary I thought: "This is a Rapunzel retelling!" Whether that's true or not there's way too many similarities, hence my tags up there. Honestly not too much happens in the way of the water witch, which disappointed me since that's why I read it, and I like how at the end she is defeated by love, the one thing she wanted that she was never able to get, but for the most part, she doesn't make an appearance and is instead mentioned by other characters. As for the historical fiction part of the novel, apparently there's some inaccuracies there but as usual I don't really care about this time period so the smaller details others noticed just slipped right by me. Overall, the novel wasn't good, but it wasn't awful either. It was a quick, decent read, and I'm glad I read it, although honestly I'll probably forget about it in the coming weeks as more interesting books take its place in my recent memory.

  • Marathon County Public Library MCPL
    2019-05-06 21:49

    Moss is the executioner’s daughter. That’s right; she lives in the Tower of London in England with her father who serves King Henry VIII, and lately they are way too busy with executions. Her job is to catch the severed heads in a basket after her father chops them off, a job she detests. She longs to escape and see more of the world beyond the castle confines and cannot understand why her father forbids it. Even the scary stories about the Riverwitich who lives in the River Thames and who is rumored to steal children cannot keep her away. But when she discovers the mystery surrounding her mother’s death and the Riverwitch’s curse on her family, will it be too late for destiny to prevail? This unusual historical novel intermingles history and fantasy, creating an interesting and engaging story for tweens and readers of all ages.Sharyn H. / Marathon County Public LibraryFind this book in our library catalog.

  • Kirsti
    2019-05-10 01:44

    Somewhere between three and four stars. I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it. The story was enjoyable but predictable. The characters were a little flat but I did enjoy Moss' growth by the end of the book.Moss is the executioner's daughter. She catches heads after they've been removed from their bodies, but longs for freedom. The story takes a paranormal twist that I did not expect, with the introduction of a 'witch' and a curse. Not surprisingly, I enjoyed the deviation from the usual historical fare. There are mentions of Anne Boleyn, and one really nice scene featuring her as well. I'm a little hazy on my history but it seemed accurate enough to pass muster for an almost YA book.A little different, but highly readable. Fast paced too, but might be a little gruesome for younger readers. The age and thoughts of Moss aren't YA though either. At 25, I can appreciate it from all angles and I like what I saw!

  • Veggieclogger
    2019-05-02 21:55

    This has to be one of the greatest books of all time!!!!It's starts out with a basket girl named Moss during King Henry the 8th's reign, the daughter of the kings executioner, knowing only that she is to stay inside the walls of the castle because she and her father are prisoners.Over the course of the book, she runs away, meets Anne Boleyn, and makes a bond with a thief, all while fleeing from the river witch to go back to the place she was born. But in the end, is the witch really chasing her to kill her?This book was sort of violent, so kids under age 8 shouldn't read it, but when you're older than that, it's a great book!

  • Eliza
    2019-05-08 01:59

    Honestly, this was not the best book. Although the end was heartwarming, the majority of the book was boring and hard to get through. I read this in bookclub, and no one really liked it. Everyone said the end changed it. But I can't get past the beginning of the book. I feel as though there was maybe to much detail, and maybe not enough action. Also this book had a different cover when I read it. Not a fan of this cover. If you read it, prepare to cry. Also don't quit, it is all worth it in the end.

  • Kris - My Novelesque Life
    2019-05-21 21:45

    DNF - I did not finish the novel as I could not get into the story or the characters. It may be due to the fact it is written for children and not one that is for all ages. Based on other reviews I stopped reading as I don't think I will enjoy it. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read this book.

  • Rachel McMillan
    2019-05-07 00:00

    What an interesting, interesting fable-like patch of folklore this is. Woven with magic and set against the tumultuous life of London’s ominous tower, Moss and her blacksmith father ( not to mention Salter, the sly river rat) pepper an unforgettable children’s tale. Lush, sparse and so vivid, this reminded me why I love Children’s Literature as much as I do. title provided by Netgalley

  • K Gover
    2019-04-25 22:46

    Moss is an easy to relate to, fierce character. Her role as the basket girl in catching the heads the executioner/Pa chops off is morbidly interesting. There are several passages that are so well written that you can't help but want to share them. Passages of suspense and "hooks" that intrigue the reader are prevalent throughout the story. The descriptions of the variety of settings is extensive and producers many opportunities to visualize. In addition, the historic elements of the Tudor lifestyle and King Henry are sprinkled in enough to let the reader know there is another society existing within the community of Moss and her story. Finally, the concepts of the Riverwitch and her fantasy contribution to this fiction genre add a unique yet mysterious twist to a seemingly obvious plot. Zero inappropriate language and the violence isn't any worse than the title implies. It isn't graphic, but describes the mood surrounding the be-headings.

  • Annie
    2019-05-13 21:46

    I read this book a while ago ~ but im new to this app i decided to write this now. I recently just finished reading Jane Hardstaff's second book 'River Daughter' for the second time, - both books in the series never get boring. I was sitting in class reading my book when i suddenly finished it right before my teacher asked me to read to her - i jumped to the book shelf and didnt look at the title or anything and just started reading it to my teacher - from then on i was hooked, i couldn't even put the book down it was amazing!! So exciting and interesting ~ even with the historical side of it - definitey recommend both books in the series, i loved them!

  • Maggie
    2019-05-03 00:50

    This book has some interesting aspects, including a great premise and a spectacular setting, but suffers from not quite knowing what it wants to be. The plot meanders; themes change as the novel progresses; the magical elements appear and disappear; too many characters make only cameo appearances; and while its grittiness and grisliness seem more suited for young adults, the writing and the plot (such as it is) are clearly aimed at middle grade readers.

  • Kaitie
    2019-05-17 17:45

    Great book to read! Interesting how a girl has to go through the hardships of life, even if she is lied to her who life. I love how there is a good ending to Salter and Moss. I especially love how Salter talks to Moss all the time. " Hey leatherboots, is that you?" I also enjoy that Moss has to go through despair, and then she runs away from home, even though she goes near the river. I would recommend this book to anyone who would love a great twist to read. This is such a great book, so, go ahead, try and read this wondrous book right here.

  • Zainah
    2019-05-21 19:12

    When I first got the book, I read the reviews on here and I assumed I wouldn't like it. Nevertheless I continued to read it and now I can say I loved it. Its a great book, although at times I had to reread some parts because my mind couldnt process it.

  • Sonya
    2019-04-27 20:45

    As a YA read, this novel had a little bit of everything - history, fantasy, family dynamics & teenage friendship. It was well written & carried you along at a rapid rate. You really had a sense of being a part of Tudor England. Would definitely recommend to readers around 13+

  • Rebecca
    2019-05-15 00:45

    The main issue with this book is Moss, the heroine. Although she is believable as a frustrated pre-teen, she's also obnoxious, and comes off as ungrateful. While it makes sense for her age, it doesn't make her a character I want to read about.

  • Ava
    2019-05-06 17:59

    Okay book. Wasn't really my favorite.

  • Mary
    2019-04-29 20:54

    Plucky heroine and colorful sidekick, fascinating information about executing people, time period comes alive, Anne Boelyn - happy to see that there may be a series!

  • Emma Filtness
    2019-05-22 00:11

    Interesting characters and great setting with lots of potential, but no where near as tense and gripping as it needed to be.

  • Cherry Liddel
    2019-05-15 18:57

    Although this book was good, the fantasy with the Riverwitch didn't really get me spooked. I didn't really get sucked into this book, and so it's just a 3 stars from me. :)

  • Ian Wood
    2019-05-21 22:52

    This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-fifths worth reading! The only reason I've relented and started putting stars up there is to credit the good ones, which were being unfairly uncredited. So, all you'll ever see from me is a five-star or a one-star (since no stars isn't a rating, unfortunately).I rated this book WORTHY!WARNING! MAY CONTAIN UNHIDDEN SPOILERS! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!Note: Not to be confused with The Executioner's Daughter by Laura E Williams (which I haven't read), not with The Executioner's Beautiful Daughter by Angela Carter (which I also haven't read), nor with The Executioner's Daughter by Miguel Conner (which I also haven't read). Note also that this novel has a sequel, River Daughter, which I haven't read either. Shame on me! What's wrong with me - all these novels I haven't read?!This story is quite a bit different from a lot of what I've been reading lately, and it was as welcome as it was a charming read. It's 1532 (that's just after three-thirty for those of you not familiar with military time), and Henry 8.0 is on the throne of England. Young Moss is the daughter of the executioner at the Tower of London. Moss's job is to catch the heads of the beheaded in her little wicker basket when they fall off. She quite good at it, but she hates her life, and her father's job.One day she learns from him that he's been lying to her about why they never leave the Tower! Moss is furious at this revelation. She's been held prisoner just as effectively as enemies of the state, and none of it was necessary. It turns out that her dad is hiding her from someone who is apparently coming to claim her on her upcoming birthday. The Tower, he believes, despite the fact that it's right on the banks of the Thames, is the only safe place safe for her. Yeah, that plot-point is a bit thin, but the story-telling was so good that I was willing to forgive the author this - and her portrayal of the Thames freezing over that winter (it didn't!). The Thames froze - or partially froze - in 1514 and 1537, but not 1532-3.Moss, in her wanderings around her 'home' has found a secret route that leads outside, away from the eyes of the Tower guards. Now she takes to it with a vengeance, abandoning her father and eventually ending up with a guy who ferries people across the Thames for a coin here and there. He's also a scam artist who puts himself first and foremost, and Moss becomes very disillusioned with him. She strikes out on her own one frozen night determined to find the place where her mother gave birth to her.Is the inexperienced Moss going to survive alone on one of the coldest nights of the winter? Will she find what she seeks? And what, exactly, is it she thinks she's been seeing following her around, but forever staying below the unforgiving waters of the great river, and snaking beneath the impassive ice? I'm not going to tell you!This novel was very well written, original, entertaining and engrossing. I kept getting back to it every chance I got and it was a fast read. Most enjoyable. The only problem I had with it was in the Kindle, where every instance of "fi" was replaced by the letter À and every instance of "fl" was replaced by the letter Á. You can see an example of it in the illustration on my blog, where the offenders have been underlined in red. I did not have this same problem in Adobe Digital Editions or in Bluefire Reader on the iPad.Despite that annoyance, I was able to read and enjoy it without any real problems (please note that this was an advance review copy and not a regularly purchased copy, so the problem may well have been fixed in the commercial version). I recommend this novel, and I am definitely interested in reading more by this author.

  • Jen Westpfahl
    2019-05-03 20:02

    I don't care whether it's called middle grades or YA, it was enjoyable to read as an adult. The story is interesting, and the description vivid. It walks the line between historical fiction and fairy tale/supernatural novel in a delightful way. I passed it on to my 13-year-old daughter to read next.

  • Storywraps
    2019-05-03 21:48

    The title of the book caught my attention right away, "The Executioner's Daughter". Can you even imagine having that "title as a child?" That's bad enough, but when I read on further and found out that she was the one who collects the heads of those chopped off by her father in a basket...well I certainly was hooked and had to read on.....intriguing tale for sure.This novel mixes historical facts with adventure, supernatural interventions, loyal friendships and strong parental love. This fantasy adventure setting is in 16th century, Tudor London, during the reign of King Henry VIII. Moss and her father live in the underbelly of the Tower of London where her father's job is to be the Tower's executioner. She is disgusted and revolted at both his job and hers and wants desperately to escape, feeling like she is being held a prisoner there. Moss is feisty, cunning and bold and one day she decides she's had enough and stumbles upon a tunnel that leads her to freedom....or so she thinks. Her father has told her that his mission in life is to keep her protected and safe, a promise he made to his beloved deceased wife and Moss's mother. Determined Moss, although she loves her father, goes in search of a waterwheel on the Thames where she hopes to uncover her roots. That is where her mother died and she was born. She is driven to find the truth of her father's words to her and make some sense of her life. The story tells in detail of her struggle to survive in the bitter, wintry cold outside the tower walls. She lacks food and shelter. Moss pairs up with a clever, resourceful, lovable thief, named Salter who becomes her friend and teaches her the way of the river people. There are supernatural dangers lurking about her as a Riverwitch, skulking in the depths of the Thames, stalks her and wants to possess her very soul. She has to protect herself from a decrepit old man who constantly is hunting her and wants to snatch her away and deliver her to the Riverwitch. This book is perfect for middle-grade and those who enjoy historical fiction. I highly recommend it. I was taken in from the very first chapter. It is an excellent debut novel and I hope there will be many more to come from this exceptional author.

  • Rabiah
    2019-05-03 22:57

    **3.5 stars**Originally posted at: Executioner's Daughter has been on my shelf for AGES, and so I finally decided to pick this one up after realising how long it's been there. Guilt totally eating me away! Anyway, I really enjoyed this one. It was a really quick read too–the font in the advanced copy is pretty big, so I was done with this one within two hours. I didn't really know what to expect with this one, so I was pleasantly surprised with what was in store.The setting was great. Fantastic, actually. I love historical fiction, but I don't know if I've ever read anything in YA about the Tudors, or this particular time period. Anyway, it totally made me want to read more books set in this time period–as well as watch the show The Tudors. It's fascinating to see events that actually happened integrated into the story.One thing I pretty much hated about this book was Moss. The girl doesn't listen to anyone! Stay away from the river? Let me hang around it the whole time. And while I'm at it, let me yell at my dad all the time, even though he did everything to protect me. Salter was a great character though–I gotta love his insults. Here are some of my favourite lines from him:❝Sweet Harry's scabs! That's a wind cold enough to freeze off yer goosters.❞❝Stupid pisspot of a shore girl.❞❝You've got less guts than a pan of cockles.❞–p. 60, 61, and 304, ARC**text is subject to change in the final versionThe Executioner's Daughter was an exciting historical-fantasy adventure that younger and older readers alike will enjoy. This book was good enough as a standalone, but I know there's a sequel, and while I don't know how I'm going to feel about Moss, I'm definitely adding it to my to-read pile. Jane Hardstaff has created an interesting world within this historical era, and I'm looking forward to learning more about it.▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha at Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

  • Gabs {My Full Bookshelf Reviews}
    2019-05-16 01:47

    The Executioner's Daughter was actually kind of painful to get through, because I was so very bored with it. Does that make sense? Well, no, not exactly, because this book took place in a fascinating era, with characters who had fascinating pasts, and there was potential for a fascinating plot. 'Fascinating', however, this book was not. The problem is that despite the fact that this book has so much going for it, it drags on with useless pages and not enough plot. The blurb sits on a throne of lies; this is not a 'thrilling' adventure.' For the longest time there was no paranormal happenings. When there was paranormal activity, well, I was bored. The writing just didn't have enThe book turned something so exciting into an NPR broadcast. Not helping was the fact that the heroine, Moss, was completely insufferable. She whines. She complains. She treats her dad like (insert swear here.) (HOW DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE? Because in the era this is in, isn't backsassing your parents a huuuuuge no-no??) The fact I could not stand her is saying a lot, because I am a sucker for characters with sad backstories, and Moss really got the short end of the stick as far as her life situation goes, but I still hated her. The other characters were just as annoying. The one friend that Moss makes I could not stand. He was just annoying. The ghost lady who played a major role in the book later on seemed so cliche.So many details were just so unnecessary to the story. Why did Anne Boleyn have to have a heartfelt conversation with Moss? Dunno. Why did we have to go in depth about everyday life at the dungeon? Because it got repetitive after a while, and it just triggered Moss complaining more, which just got...ugh.I regret reading this, and that is saying something. It really didn't have anything I can praise in it, and so, obviously, there is no one I'd recommend this to.

  • Sarah-Hope
    2019-05-19 18:10

    I have mixed feelings about The Executioner’s Daughter, but I think those are largely a result of being fifty-plus years old and having definite ideas about how Tudor England should be portrayed. For younger readers (the publisher recommends grades 3 through 7), this book is going to be an exciting read.Moss, the central character, lives with her father in the Tower of London. He’s the executioner, which makes her the “Basket Girl,” the one responsible for carrying decapitated heads back from the scaffold. Not surprisingly, she loathes this job, but her father insists that they can’t leave the Tower because he’s a criminal and will be executed himself unless he continues with his duties.The book opens with the execution of Thomas More and continues on through the fall of Anne Boleyn and the rise of Jane Seymour (information that probably mattered more to me than it would to younger readers). Moss is attuned to and distressed by the changing fortunes of those around her, particularly once she’s also given the job of delivering meals to the condemned.Moss dreams of life in London and of traveling along the Thames, although she knows very little about either. When she finds a passage out of the Tower new adventures begin, for which she’s ill-prepared, but which she faces bravely. She befriends a river boy, Salter; learns a great deal about lives both much more wretched and much more elevated than her own; both flees and hunts the ominous “ragged man”; and learns that she may be destined to die at the hands of the Riverwitch once she reaches the age of twelve.As I said, I think the readers this book is aimed at will find it un-put-downable, even if it doesn’t translate well to the adult market. Issues of justice, the lives of the poor and the royal, death, magic, and a girl fighting to define herself—these all make The Executioner’s Daughter a compelling read for older children.

  • Charlie
    2019-05-10 01:02

    The Executioner’s Daughter follows the watery adventures of Moss and her rascally sidekick, Salter, as they face scary situations while evading a child snatcher and a Riverwitch. Ultimately, they find friendship and purpose to their lives beside the Thames in the reign of Henry VIII.Pitched as a sort of gothic horror for children with a dash of witchiness, the story is essentially a newly rendered fairy tale, based on real folkloric myths of river spirits, like Peg Powler or Jenny Greenteeth, who were said to snatch children who wandered too close to the water’s edge. This folkloric premise is nicely set up by the fireside telling of the story of the Riverwitch by old Nell. However, apart from this short taste, the first half of the book is relatively ponderous and grim, labouring the role of executioner and his assistant to establish Moss and her father as social outcasts and to give her a reason to run away. Necessarily, as Moss is to be reconciled with her father, he cuts a rather unconvincing ogre figure and as such, in spite of the title, the executioner trope is something of a distraction from the main thrust of the narrative. Rather than catching the imagination with spine-tingling scene-setting, the effect of over-egging this bit of the pudding is a very slow lead-in via grisly, but rather ponderous, horror before turning out to be a deft and exciting fairy tale adventure on another theme altogether.Details like a frost fair on the frozen river or a Tudor banquet are well drawn. A toilet collapsing off London Bridge and Salter’s fruity oaths are great fun: “Great Harry’s pussin ulcers!” The baddies are scary in their own right. So it is to be hoped that readers of 8 to 12 will persevere.This review published in the Historical Novels Review February 2014.Book supplied by the publisher.

  • Krutula
    2019-05-15 21:06

    Moss is a young girl who hates her life. She's a prisoner in the Tower of London, her father is the executioner, and it's Moss who has to catch the heads in her basket... But when she discovers a hidden tunnel that takes her to freedom she also unearths a terrifying secret, and discovers that her life isn't what she believes it to be. It's only when she runs away from the Tower and meets the mouthy rascal called Salter that she learns the true value of freedom and choice. The Executioner's Daughter was quite a thrilling read. It has mystery, magic, ghosts, a touch of historical, but also an innocence. Set it Henry VII's London, right about the time Anne Boleyn was to meet her fate, the story revolves around Moss, the daughter of the Executioner at the Tower. She has been imprisoned all her life in the Tower, never allowed to go out, never allowed to mingle with others. Her main job is to collect the severed heads from the executioner's block, a task that earned her the moniker 'basket girl'. Life at the Tower is brutal for her, with her being bullied and her father always on her case to never go out. When she finally finds a way to freedom and adventure, she goes in search of her past. Without giving much away, I would like to say her path takes her from the slums to the palaces, and also a meeting with a spirit who has been chasing her for life. But the book doesn't mainly rely on the ghost angle, but rather the intrigue and mystery of the Tower, it's quiet hallways where one could hear secret conversations. The writing is beautiful, and paints a realistic picture of the London then, but the pace of the story did make me want to skim faster through the plot. Overall, I would give it 3.5 stars. Received a free galley from Egmont USA via Netgalley; this does not influence my opinions or review.