Saturday, 26 August 2017

Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake Book 3) - C.J. Sansom



Title: Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake Book 3)
Author: C.J. Sansom
Genre: Historical Mystery
Published: 2007
Formats: Hardback/Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
Amazon
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

Review:
“Sovereign” by C.J. Sansom is the 3rd novel in his “Matthew Shardlake” series of historical mystery novels. In this novel, it is now 1541 and King Henry is making a “Great Progress” to York in an attempt to both impress the northerners and meet the King of Scotland. Matthew Shardlake, our hero lawyer is asked by Archbishop Cranmer to also head to York so that he chaperone a political prisoner back to London. His trip to York is complicated by the mysterious murder of a glazier which draws him into a treasonous plot which endangers his own life.

Sansom’s writing continues to be intelligent, well-structured and engaging with a myriad of interesting sub-plots and intrigues that kept me hooked. You can’t help but keep turning the pages to find out what Shardlake is going to uncover next or what new unexpected challenge he is going to face. The novel isn’t for the faint hearted however, as the Tudor world is shown in all its ugly brutality which can be rather disconcerting.

The characterization is superb, the people really feel like they belong in the time period. Sansom doesn’t try and re-align morals to a modern view point; viewpoints which may be unacceptable now are on show without any attempt to soften them. In fact some of the heroes of the piece think and do things which would probably be left for the villains if this was a contemporary novel. Don’t get me wrong however; these characters are still likeable, but you need to accept that they are products of their time.

Overall, this is another brilliant entry in his series of Shardlake novels. Sansom is skilled at providing the reader with both an engaging and exciting mystery plot as well as detailed portrayal of the Tudor world. If you have read the previous novels then you are going to love this book, if you haven’t then I can only advise you to pick up the first novel in the series as it is quite simply, superb.