Your God. Your Country. Your Kin. Who Do You Betray? London, 1563. Catholic plots against the young Queen Elizabeth spring up all over the country. William Harley - known to everyone as Clarenceux - receives a book from his friend and fellow Catholic, Henry Machyn, who is in fear of his life. Then Clarenceux is visited by Francis Walsingham and his ruthless enforcers, who will stop at nothing to gain possession of the book. What secret can the book hold?
©2010 Ian James Forrester Mortimer (P)2010 WF Howes Ltd
N/A I don't listen to any audio book more than once
The narrator is excellent. Good tone, pacing, accent, and resonance.
If you like historical fiction, you'll definitely like this fast paced, well researched novel. The author's precise command of English evokes vivid, realistic descriptions of setting and plot.
My husband and I only listen to audio books during our long 6 hour trips to visit our daughter. Finding a novel that appeals to our diverse tastes is a challenge! While I found some of the details too gory, albeit true to the times, this novel captured both our interest.
"Excellent yet Tedious"
I came into this book blind, never having heard of the author or narrator before, but the brief resume caught my imagination. The characters and characterisation are well introduced and deveoped and the plot was superb - it kept even me, a seasoned reader of historical fiction in all its subgenres, guessing right until the denoument, which was itself perfectly timed and unwrapped in a masterly way. It weaves real characters with fictional ones, and it was refreshing to see Francis Walsingham & William Cecil from different angles to the usual stereotypes of Elizabeth I's spymaster and right-hand man we usually see in historical fiction of the period.
I do have one criticism, however; whilst the cat and mouse game between the main protagonist and his nemesis was intrinsic to the plot, there was just too much of it. Scenes that could've been cut far shorter without losing anything of the plot were dragged out and there were just too many stalk-fight-flight encounters, some of which were unnecessary. Towards the end, I found myself fast-forwarding (the audible equivalent of page flicking) past such parts in order to get to the next part of real plot development.
I can fully recommend this book to all afficionadi of historical thrillers, but with the caveat that it does get tedious in parts. It is extremely well written and the narration couldn't have been better. Others may well disagree, but I envisage it will only be those who love long, drawn-out fights.
"Not quite what I had hoped for"
I love c j sansoms books and hoped that this might be similar. It was only for the period it was set in, I found it difficult to believe in the story. But quite enjoyed it.
I loved this book and the second one Roots of Betrayal, which seems to have disapeared from audible . i am hoping they will reinstate it and the third book in the trilogy which is already out in paperback. well worth listening to. please audible can we have all 3
Loved this book, if you like quality historical fiction with a sprinkling of whodunit, you could do much worse than this. This book is how it should be imo. The narrator is excellent too, dramatising without over-egging it. I've been waiting (im)patiently for the next book, in what I hope will become a series (Roots of Betrayal), to be available on Audible and saw today it has been listed. That's what this month's credit will be going on!
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