Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Sovereign by C J Sansom

It was autumn, 1541. Following the uncovering of a plot against his throne in Yorkshire, King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to overawe his rebellious subjects there. Accompanied by a thousand soldiers, the cream of the nobility, and his fifth wife Catherine Howard, the King is to attend an extravagant submission of the local gentry at York. Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as assisting with legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a special mission - to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator being returned to London for interrogation. But the murder of a local glazier involves Shardlake in deeper mysteries, connected not only to the prisoner in York Castle but to the royal family itself. As the Great Progress arrives in the city, Shardlake and Barak stumble upon a cache of secret papers that holds danger for the King's throne, and a chain of events unfolds that will lead Shardlake facing the most terrifying fate of the age.

The third instalment from CJ Sansom's brilliant Shardlake series was for me the best yet!

In this instalment we see Shardlake get as close to King Henry VIII than he ever has before and why? This time around Shardlake is working for Archbishop Cranmer and he has to go to York to meet with the King's progress.

At first Shardlake thinks he is just assisting a fellow lawyer but, as always not everything quite goes the way it should. In this instalment Shardlake's assistant is Barak who portrays a brilliant supporting character. Based in York rather than London this time makes for a wonderful descriptive tale.

This is longer than the previous two books but, not noticeably so as it kept me gripped right to the very end, I love these books and will be delaying reading Revelation, which I think is the last or at least is the last of the series in print at the moment, lets hope it continues for many books to come!

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