Ah, finally a real book! This author doesn’t stop delighting me and also making me totally frustrated! Where do all his great ideas from? And yet again I did not manage to figure out the whole plot before Master Shardlake….If you are to read a series this summer, then read Shardlake!
England is on the verge of an invasion from the French and King Henry the 8th has started to gather his troops. In the midst of this chaos Master Shardlake practices his law, but when he is called into Queen Catherine Parr to solve a case for her the war comes quite close. One of the queen’s old servants son is dead and his mother wants to know why. It has to do with one of the families he was a tutor for, the Hobbey’s and their two wards; Emma and Hugh. This case takes Shardlake to the Court of Wards, full of corruption and lies. Master Shardlake and Jack Barak travel south to the coast a little bit north of Portsmouth where the English fleet is gathering to fight of the French to investigate the case. Once down south Master Shardlake intends to investigate another case, the case of Ellen Fettiplace of which he came to know in one of his other cases.
This is a wonderful masterpiece! You just get sucked up into the story and before you know it it is over. It is truly sad that I only have one book left in this series now, I have enjoyed reading it so much! Yet again Mr Sansom keeps the entire plot hidden from me until Master Shardlake himself has one of his light bulb moments, and even then I don’t understand it before the book reveals it all. As I have said before, this is why I love the books so much. A little too often it happens that you get halfway through a book and you have guessed the ending. In these books you know it will end well, but you never know how it will get to the end. In this book, there is a lot of action, but it is neatly balanced out with periods of lack of action. These periods are quite nice because even though nothing much happens you will just speed past them without noticing it and that is a true goal for an author when writing a book in my opinion.
In this book, we also follow the story of Tamasin and Barak more closely and I like that very much. From just being a sidekick in the story, Jack has become quite central and I like the small peaks we get into his and Tamasin’s life. I like how the author makes their characters seem so lifelike and it’s almost as if you can place them in a modern world except for some obvious historical facts. We also encounter some nice old friends and we meet some old enemies which makes it all more intriguing. I won’t spoil who comes and goes, but it will be good I promise you!
Genre: Historical fiction
Themes: War, family, corruption, politics, justice
– The Book Reader