LAMENTATION-A WRAP ON SHARDLAKE?

C.J. Sansom’s 2104 novel Lamentation brings to a close the his six book series of Henry  VIII. Sansom brings the series to a close in great fashion filled with suspense, double-dealing and all of the intrigue surrounding the King’s court.

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Henry’s sixth wife, Catherine Parr, is the centerpiece of  this novel set in the divide between conservative and radical factions  at odds over England’s religious future.  Catherine pens a secret paper, clearly outlining her leanings and of course it disappears and the Shardlake search for the potentially deadly manuscript begins.  Catherine’s very survival is at the center of the story which begins with the burning at the stake of heretic Anne Askew and two others. Familiar territory for Henry VIII.

Lamentation  qualifies as a good read from every dimension. It appears to bring the Shardlake series to a close but I will leave those details to be discovered by the reader. If you have not read  the Shardlake Sansom novels I commend the entire series to you. If you are committed, start from the beginning and read them in  chronological order.   Dissolution, Dark Fire, Sovereign, Revelation, Heartstone, Lamentation.  The characters  and story line build through each book.  It may seem like a project but I suggest it will be well worth your while. Sansom is a celebrated historical novelist and you will become an enthusiastic student of Tudor England when you embark on the Shardlake journey.

Reviews of the other Sansom Shardlake novels may be searched here at gordonsgoodreads.com

MORE MADNESS OF HENRY VIII

In her new book, The Kings Curse, Philippa Gregory adds multiple chapters to the madness of the Tudor Court of King Henry VIII.  If you enjoyed her best-selling novel The Other Boleyn  Girl, you will be very much at home with The Kings Curse. The story comes through the voice of a new narrator, Margaret Pole of the Yorks, part of the Plantagenets, and considered a rival to the Tudor Throne.

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All of the great characters of the period are interwoven throughout the book.  The demise of Katherine of Aragon, the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn, Mary Boleyn, Cromwell, Cardinal Wolsey and of course Henry VIII himself. Throughout the novel the crafty and devious Margaret Pole masks her disdain for the Tudors in an effort of save the lives of her sons and Henry and Katherine’s only living child,  Mary, the legitimate heir.  It is indeed the King’s curse, that he has no  legitimate son to continue the Tudor Dynasty.

Gregory’s research and attention to detail is impeccable and her literary style is fast paced. There is never a long wait at the starting line.

Other novels of this era you may enjoy are Katherine by Anya Seton and the entire C.J. Sansom series set during this period.  You can search these titles and The Other Boleyn Girl here at gordonsgoodreads.com