Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: Treason In Tudor Times

Author James Forrester has presented us with  an unlikely hero in the guise of the elderly Herald, Sir William Harley, known throughout to all as Clarenceux. The setting is Tudor England at the height of the "succession" question where Catholics were putting forth one Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, as the successor to both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The whole country is on tenter-hooks as treason and traitors are discovered and removed from all levels of Tudor society.

In this first instalment, Willam or Clarenceux, finds himself in possession of a "chronicle" written by an old friend, yet delivered in the dead of night.  Not only is he now the custodian of this rather unique book, but also of the secret entrusted to him by its author, Henry Machyn.  And so we are taken on a quest to discover and decypher the secret before the authorities (in the form of Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth's spymaster) take hold of William and "persuade" him to reveal all to them.

The action is non-stop as William goes in search of those known as the Knights of the Round Table - and hopefully discover the secret that could see his own life hang in the balance.

Sacred Treason is but the first instalment - two more adventures follow in The Roots of Betrayal and The Final Sacrament.

Author James Forrester is a historian by profession, publishing medieval and early modern non-fiction under his first and last names, Ian Mortimer (his full name being Ian James Forrester Mortimer).

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