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review 2019-06-20 16:55
Prince (John Shakespeare #3) - Rory Clements
Prince: A John Shakespeare Mystery - Rory Clements

When I first stumbled upon Martyr, I was looking for something to replace C.J. Sansom's Mathew Shardlake series. Honestly,  I wasn't expecting to ever find something. The Shardlake series is a rarity when it comes to Tudor-era fiction. Clements has been more than up to the task with his John Shakespeare series. They have a gritty, edge to them that is very comparable to Sansom's work. 

 

There is a but here. It's going to be a fancy but (Friends reference anyone?). However, Sansom's characters are just a little bit more compelling. John is not a bad guy. His only fault is he is incredibly naive. For someone who works for one of the biggest spymasters in history, he sure doesn't play the game very well. I think that changes after the tragedy suffered in this novel. John's sidekick, Boltfoot Cooper, seems to be the one who suffers the most from his bosses inability to figure things out. 

 

Currently this is a seven book series so one could assume that being this is only book three, there's time for John Shakespeare to develop in to a cold, calculating agent working for the good of Her Majesty's realm. We all know what happens when you assume things. This book isn't actually the third book in a seven book series. It's more like the fifth book in a seven book series. See this series has two different orders. One order is the publication order. The other is the chronological order within the books. Books six and seven are actually books one and two. Normally, this wouldn't bother me. At least I don't think it would. I can't actually recall reading a series where the author suddenly decides mid-series to go back to the beginning. It annoys me just a little bit to think that this had to be the author's plan from the beginning. I had to stop reading Prince at about the 10-15% mark. There were so many references to previous cases that I couldn't keep up. I had to stop reading and go order books six and seven which are the books in which these previous cases are addressed. Confused yet? 

 

I promise I have a point with this review. I'm getting there. Just kidding, I'm there. My point is if you want to read these novels (which I do recommend), read them in the chronological order, not the published order. 

 

Here's the difference-

Publication Order

Martyr

Revenger

Prince

Traitor

The Heretics

The Man in the Snow (Short Story)

The Queen's Man

Holy Spy

 

Chronological Order (per book events)

The Queen's Man

Holy Spy

Martyr

Revenger

Prince

Traitor

The Heretics

The Man in the Snow (Short Story) 

 

I highly recommend the chronological order. Personally, I'm planning a re-read of the entire series just so I can better appreciate the chain of events. 

 

I'm getting a little long winded here and I've not really mentioned anything about this specific book. I don't have much to add on that front. As pointed out in a previous post, I found the book's commentary on immigration in Tudor England to be rather enlightening. The fact that as a society we haven't actually changed much over the centuries actually gives me a little hope for the future. I mean if we've made it this far being horribly ignorant and unwilling to accept blame for our own failures, I guess there's no reason to believe future generations can't survive. Right? *eye roll*

 

 

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text 2019-05-21 16:19
Rabbit Hole

I've been sick for the last four (maybe five) days. I'm on my second of potentially 10 days home from work. At this rate, I will not be finishing the school year. It's a good thing I have three years worth of banked sick time. I've used way too much of it this year. 

 

Anyway. I decided to go down the series rabbit hole. I made a list of all the series I have started. I read a lot of mysteries so this list got a little out of control. I had to add a couple of qualifiers- 

 

1.) A series is defined as having more that four published books.

 

2.) I did not count a series if there are plans for several more published works (more than two)

 

With the qualifiers in place, I still had quite the list. I won't list all of the series in this post. I need to pace myself.

 

As it stands right now -

 

43 series started and not finished

 

19 series started and not going to finish

 

As mentioned above, I read a lot of mysteries. I'm in a GRs group dedicated specifically to historical mysteries. This list is far from complete. 

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