George V. Reilly

Review: Sovereign

Title: Sovereign
Author: C.J. Sansom
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Macmillan
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 583
Keywords: historical mystery
Reading period: 25–28 December, 2008

Sequel to Dark Fire. The hunch­backed lawyer Matthew Shardlake has been sent to York by Archbishop Cranmer to meet the Royal Progress, where Henry VIII is to accept formal surrender from those who had earlier rebelled. Shardlake is to hear petitions on the king’s behalf, but really he is there to ensure that a high-ranking con­spir­a­tor is brought safely back to the Tower of London. He stumbles upon a cache of secret papers, which leads to a series of attempts upon his life.

Shardlake, once an ardent support of the reform of the Church of England, has grown dis­il­lu­sioned and cynical. His exposure to the king and the Court only increase his dis­il­lu­sion­ment. The king has become an unabashed tyrant and Shardlake grows sym­pa­thet­ic to the rebels.

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