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Publisher's Summary

The third novel in the compelling Shardlake series. Autumn, 1541. King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to attend an extravagant submission of his rebellious subjects in York. Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as assisting with legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a special mission - to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator being returned to London for interrogation.

But the murder of a local glazier involves Shardlake in deeper mysteries, connected not only to the prisoner in York Castle but to the royal family itself. And when Shardlake and Barak stumble upon a cache of secret papers which could threaten the Tudor throne, a chain of events unfolds that will lead Shardlake facing the most terrifying fate of the age . . .

©2006 C. J. Sansom (P)2014 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story
  • Karen
  • 01-29-16

Jesu this is good!

Can't recommend this brilliant third installment enough. The plot, characters and narration are quite superb. The interweaving of a thriller - mystery with historical events is incredibly rewarding. I can't get enough Shardlake. Thank you, Mr Sansom!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian C Dando
  • 04-18-15

Absolutely superb!

Book 3 of the Shardlake chronicles, and in my opinion the best so far. Fantastic plots and sub plots intermingled with historical accuracies takes the listener on a fascinating and truly gripping adventure. Great narration only adds to the enjoyment. Bring on book 4.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-08-17

Fantastic

Loved this book from start to finish! Fantastic narration and unexpected twists at every turn.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon Elford
  • 01-02-17

Complicated and predictable but still enjoyable

The setting for this mystery is a change from the previous novels, with the narrative shifting from one place to another. As such, the tale became monotonous in places as there was little development in the mystery. However, both characters Shardlake and Barrack had much more development to their characters and leaves the reader / listener considering the moral dilemmas they both face along the way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sophie C Butcher
  • 01-07-15

More meandering story than the first two

If you could sum up Sovereign in three words, what would they be?

Enjoyable but the story is the setting rather than the mystery for me on this one. It lacks the bite of his first two in the series, which seemed to have more of a purpose. I like this period of history and I suspect CJ has done his research well, so he colours an aspect I don't get from history books.

Any additional comments?

If you can contact the writer, please tell him to stop using the words 'interrogatively' and 'sardonically'. He overuses these and several other words, and I now wince every time I hear them.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-24-18

Brilliant!

Never fails to bring fact and fiction togeth
er within a compelling and brilliant listen.

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  • Maryb
  • 12-12-17

C J Sansom at his best

Most enjoyable plot. The only criticism is that people from Scotland are either Scottish or Scots - scotch is the well loved drink. As always the narration was perfect. Steven has a marvellous voice. Nice twist at the end.

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  • Grapes of Wrath
  • 08-26-17

Good yarn in the series

Although a very good story and mix of good and bad characters some of the exchanges between people become too drawn out.

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  • marklelapin
  • 06-11-17

good story and narration

Fast paced story with interesting historical context. The narrator is excellent. If you enjoyed the first two in this series you will enjoy this one too.

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  • Lee
  • 06-06-17

Brilliant!

What made the experience of listening to Sovereign the most enjoyable?

The author has brought The Tudor age alive by creating characters that you care about and a plot that twists and turns. Grabs your attention from the start.

What other book might you compare Sovereign to, and why?

I have read all Susanna Gregory's Matt Bartholomew tales and thought they were good but C.J Sanson's Shardlake novels surpass them by miles.

Have you listened to any of Steven Crossley’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Just brilliant.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

i found myself caring and becoming angry during the mistreatment of the main characters.

Any additional comments?

This can be a dark tale at times and certain instances can be quite descriptive and gory but this novel is set in a time that's was turbulent and bloody. For me personally this did not distract from the narrative. I couldn't put it down and was sad when it ended.