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review 2018-01-21 21:31
Revenger (John Shakespeare #2) by Rory Clements
Revenger: A Novel of Tudor Intrigue - Rory Clements

I fell asleep reading this last night. I woke up this morning determined to finish before the Vikings play. SKOL! 


I have seen so many different books toted as comparable to C.J. Sansom's Matthew Shardlake books. More often than not, I find myself disappointed. Truth be told, I have not yet found anything to be as dark, gritty, or politically charged as the Shardlake novels. Enter John Shakespeare. 


Shakespeare and Shardlake both have similar qualities. They are both slightly naive. They both tend to find themselves being used as pawns in someone's political schemes. The biggest different between the two men, Shakespeare is a more of a rogue. While Shardlake strives to use his brains to get himself out of trouble, Shakespeare is not afraid to fight. 


I will confess to liking Shardlake just a little more than Shakespeare. However, I am only two books in to Shakespeare. Things could change. If the second novel is any indication of how things will progress, that could very well be the case.


Much like the first, this book was dark. It was gritty. It was gruesome. It was thick with political schemes. If you are not familiar with Elizabeth's England post-Walsingham or the children of Lettice Knollys, I would highly recommend doing a little background research first. Otherwise, you may find yourself a little lost. 


Easily the most fascinating part of this book was the story of Roanoke. As a child, I was taught all about the mysterious colony of Roanoke. A colony of English settlers come to the New World to create a new life who suddenly vanish without a trace. What happened to little Virginia Dare and the other colonists? Did a mysterious illness overtake them? Did they run foul of the natives? Did they just leave and start a life somewhere else? This book presents an entirely different theory. It's actually quite fascinating. That's all I'm saying about it. 


I would love to start the third novel but the Vikings play today. I have Super Bowl on my mind. SKOL! 




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text 2017-02-01 15:04
Reading progress update: I've read 15%.
Martyr - Rory Clements

So far I'm finding this book to be dark and gritty. The author creates an atmosphere that oozes back alley intrigue. I must say I find this Walsingham to be rather reminiscent of Geoffrey Rush's portrayal from the movie Elizabeth. A portrayal which is top of the list in my opinion.


I have spent a great deal of time searching for a Tudor era series as compelling as Sansom's Shardlake novels. It appears that with Clement's Shakespeare, I may have finally found something worthy of comparison.  Of course, I'm only 15% of the way into the novel so I'm setting myself up to be slightly disappointed as this a first novel. 

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text 2016-08-28 17:36
Reading progress update: I've read 34 out of 880 pages.
Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles - Margaret George

I'm suppose to start back at work full-time this week. I probably should have picked a smaller book to round out the month of August. 

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review 2016-08-17 22:36
The Girl in the Glass Tower - Elizabeth Fremantle

So close to perfect. Every other Fremantle novel I have read has driven me to a puddle of mush by the end. This novel came close but just didn't quite make it. While I felt for Arbella, I just didn't like the Ami subplot. Ami as the story's vessel just didn't work for me as much as someone like Levina from Sisters of Treason.

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