Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sovereign by C.J. Sansom

Genre: Historical Fiction; Historical Mystery; Mystery

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Series: Dissolution; Dark Fire; Sovereign; Revelation

How I acquired this book: I purchased it.

Book Blurb: C. J . Sansom has garnered a wider audience and increased critical praise with each new novel published. His first book in the Matthew Shardlake series, Dissolution, was selected by P. D. James in The Wall Street Journal as one of her top-five all-time favorite books. Now in Sovereign, Shardlake and his loyal assistant, Jack Barak, find themselves embroiled in royal intrigue when a plot against King Henry VIII is uncovered in York and a dangerous conspirator they-ve been charged with transporting to London is connected to the death of a local glazer.

My Review: Matthew Shardlake and his roguish assistant, Jack Barak, are back in action in this third installment of the Matthew Shardlake series--this time on a mission from Archbishop Cranmer. Matthew must join King Henry VIII's Progress to the North, and then accompany a political prisoner back to London. His duty is to keep the prisoner alive and healthy so that the man can be effectively tortured in the Tower.

Matthew hates the thought of protecting a man just so he can be racked, but Cranmer forces him to take the job. But that's only one of Matthew's worries. There's murder, mayhem, religious tension and political conspiracies up North--naturally Matthew and Jack have to untangle the mess while trying not to learn too much about dangerous secrets.

Since much of the story takes place in York, I was wondering if Jack--who has a sentimental attachment to his Jewish heritage--would find out what happened to the Jews of York a few hundred years earlier. He does, in a brief but chilling scene that illustrates just how cruel one character is.

But Jack has other things on his mind, including a dalliance with a pretty servant from the Queen's household. Tammy keeps Jack on his toes while she complicates matters for both him and his master.

If you know your Tudor history, some shocking revelations in the story won't come as a surprise to you. I already knew what those revelations would be, but the other mystery kept me guessing. Overall, the book kept my glued to my Kindle and left me hungry for more of Matthew and Jack!

On Kindle: Yes. Find it here.

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