In The Excutioner's Daughter by Jane Hardstaff, Moss is almost 12. She has lived her whole life in the Tower of London where her father is King Henry VIII's executioner. Moss's father told her that they must stay in the Tower as punishment for a crime he committed years ago.
Moss is the basket girl. She carries the newly chopped off heads from the block to the gates of the Tower where they will be on display. When she is pressed into service in the kitchen ,she makes friends with the King's latest enemy, an abbot. The day of the abbot's death, Moss runs away.
In her debut novel, Jane Hardstaff paints a realistic picture of the Tower and the river that flows by it during King Henry VIII's reign. The jacket blurb hints at a touch of fantasy in this otherwise historically accurate book. The touch of fantasy adds suspense and terror to the sotry of Moss's coming of age.
Moss learns about the flawed nature of people who must struggle to survive. She also learns about acceptance, love and forgiveness.
The Executioner's Daughter by Jane Hardstaff is a fine book.