Another aspect of For the King that I heartily applaud is the way it presents torture as not just horrible but ineffective in getting at the truth.The torture debate is still going on in the US, and the lesson I draw from it is that many are perfectly comfortable with it, because it only happens to "bad" people, or at least people unfortunate enough to be mistaken for bad people.
For so many years, it seems that novelists and, even more so, television and film writers have been portraying torture scenes as if torture were invariably effective at extracting accurate information from the person being tortured. Scenes might evoke sympathy and horror if the person being tortured was a "good guy," but they have usually shown that person "breaking" and giving accurate information. Actually, FBI and CIA operatives who are in a position to know have said that statements made under torture are generally extremely unreliable, making torture a particularly poor way of getting information. It would be a good thing for writers of fiction (especially writers who are highly skilled at making their scenes believable!) to develop a sense of responsibility about issues like this. It's one thing if a writer genuinely believes torture is effective; quite another if the writer is just taking the easy way out when trying to write a dramatic scene.
Kudos to you, Catherine, for not taking the easy way out!