For reasons that I cant go into here I am pausing writing reviews for the books that I am reading. Maybe start again at a later date but I will still record what i read as part of the fifty two books in a year challenge. So this is a record of books 10 through to 13
Which means that I ended week six with the following stats fiction 9 (audio books 3) non fiction 4. This takes my list to the end of November.
This is my review of The Queens Man by Rory Clements. The observant will realise that I am slowly working through the Rory Clements series about John Shakespeare. We now have gone back in time just to confuse the issue to a much younger John starting out in his career as an intelligencer (a sixteenth century spy) .
Once the reader had got used to the idea of everyone being so much younger and John yet to marry, it was a good story. What I find the most interesting with Rory's books is that they are based on real events and real characters that, certainly within schooling I did not know anything about.
I was told that the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First, was generally peace and prosperity, but evidently this was not the case. Intrigue, plotting, corruption and murder were the run of the day.
This story is all about Mary Queen of Scots, and the various plots both in support and against her. John is sent to investigate what is going on. He gradually uncovers plot within plot, like pealing an onion, except in this case the heart of the onion seems to be related to his family. Is he going to end up causing his family to be put to the rack, or can he save them from this terrible fate.
Fortunately there are other intelligencers at work, who have their own private agendas, but these may just help John out of the terrible predicament that he finds himself in.
I will record this as book 9 , week 4 fiction 7 (audio books 2) non fiction 2
This is my review of the book Traitor by Rory Clements which I have read recently. This story is part of the ongoing saga of the Elizabethan special agent the intelligencer John Shakespeare. Time has moved along a little since the last book, but England is still at war with Spain. The navy has a new secret weapon. An optical instrument that can help one see long distances. (An early telescope).
John is tasked with the job of protecting Dr Dee who has invented this new optical instrument. But of course things do not run smoothly, and he uncovers a much more sinister plot to overthrow Elizabeth. The plot moves from the north of England down to Oxford and then finally to the coast of Brittany.
At the end of the book Rory gives a detailed historical account of the events that surround the story, especially the Hesketh affair and battle of Fort El Leon in 1594, and the death of 394 Spanish defenders, the 6 remaining alive were spared, sent back to Spain, where they were subsequently executed for cowardice.
So the events around which the story has been woven were itself a fascinating and exciting story without having to add the lives of our heroes and their famines. These are just the cream on the cake.
This is a book that is hard to put down, as it is an exciting enthralling story about life in Elizabethan England. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
This was book 44 week 36 fiction 40 (audio books 6) non fiction 4
This is my review of the book Prince by Rory Clements, which I finished this morning. I thought I would strike while the iron is hot as the saying goes. This is the third book in the John Shakespeare series and the date is now 1593. He is still an Intelligencer working for the Queen.
Elizabeth is now getting towards the end of her reign. Everyone seems to be plotting against her. The Spanish and certain rebel Scots have come up with a plan to start a civil war and put Mary Queen of Scots son on the throne.
It is a story packed with emotion as much as detail and really transports the reader back to the age. One can almost smell the streets.
The rebels use the idea of booby trapped carts full of gunpowder being set off in the streets of London to cause confusion and distrust. They plan to use the public unrest to no good end. Having had such success with the carts the rebels then plan to use a hellburner on London. Sadly one of these explosive loads causes our hero a personal tragedy. So not only is he tasked with finding the hidden pretender prince he also wants to solve the mystery of the exploding carts. In doing so prevent the hellburner destroying all of central London .Johns journey of discovery goes from the theatrical underworld of Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Kyd, to the torture cells of his arch enemy Richard Topcliffe.
This was a really engaging story, and really good read, as book 40 week 32 fiction 35 (audio books 6) non fiction 3
This is my review of the book Revenger by Rory Clements which I read recently. It is book two in the John Shakespeare series and the year is 1592. Though I studied this time at school I had no idea of all the troubles the country went through. Judging by what I read in the story they were probably censored.
This is a long and detailed book with several sub plots going on at the same time. Not a book that can be flicked through. England and Spain are at war, and Queen Elizabeth is getting on. As a consequence there are plots afoot as to who will succeed her, and even topple her from the throne.
Added to this John Shakespeare's brother is unwittingly caught up in the action and John has to not only save the Queen's life but somehow avoid bringing down his family at the same time.
This was an exciting detailed adventure story and well justified prize winner of the Ellis Peters award. A really good book and I will look forward to reading the next in the series, when I get it.
I will record this as book 36 week 29 fiction 33 (audio books 5) non fiction 3
This is my review of the book Martyr by Rory Clements which I read recently. I am trying so hard to review the books as soon as I finish them but things keep coming along which delay this. One of the joys or problems of being self employed depending on ones view point, life is not just 9 to 5 but work until the job is finished, but I would say it is not boring.
Anyway enough of that getting back to the book which I enjoyed reading. It is a historical novel based on Elizabeth 1's preparations for war with catholic Spain. The hero of our story John Shakespeare an intelligencer is tasked with the job of looking after Francis Drake as he prepares the fleet for the forth coming war. Spain wants to assassinate Francis to prevent this work.
But when the seriously mutilated body of a high born noble young woman is found in an illicit printing house, that is tied up with subversive literature then John has to investigate. Rory explores the tensions between the various religious factions present in England and Europe at the time and these form a large amount of the plot.
This is a great book and as it is one of a series one sort of knows that even though it seems as if John won't get out of all the scrapes he gets into he will as he needs to live for the next book. It is a very enjoyable book and Rory makes sixteenth -century Elizabethan England come alive. I will certainly find and reckon enjoy the other books in the series.
I will record this as book 32 week 25 fiction 30 (audio books 4) non fiction 2
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.