384 pages ~ ★★★☆☆ ~ Netgalley eARC
Based on loosely on a true story The Smallest Man follows Nat Davy who in 1625 is taken from his quiet village life and presented to the Queen of England as a gift. Nat remains by the Queen’s side from the age of 10 through the English Civil Wars, travelling with her from England to France.
I’ve read a fair amount of Tudor era historical fiction, mainly Phillipa Gregory but I think this might be my first set during the Stuart dynasty and I really enjoyed getting a feel of the time. I’m a little embarrassed to say I can’t remember much from my secondary school lessons on the English Civil War and through this novel you get a glimpse into that time without the wars being the focal point.
Nat was a very likeable character and it was wonderful to read his journey from being a ten year old who always thought he would eventually grow taller into a man who accepts his position and even uses it to his advantage. His friendships with other characters, including the Queen and Jeremiah, are really heartwarming as the boy who was sold by his father is accepted by a family of his own choosing. I also enjoyed that the romantic storyline wasn’t one of the central threads, while it aided Nat’s character development, I was initially a bit worried it was going to take over the book.
The Smallest Man∆ was released at the start of 2021 and I recommend to any historical fiction lovers. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with a copy this in exchange for an honest review.