“The characters, both fictional and real, are fascinating, and the Tudor period setting holds its own special allure. This is a novel that fans of historical fiction will savour and cherish.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
This is the third and much anticipated novel in the Kingsbridge series, a brilliant work merging historic events and people with a cast of created characters and scenarios.
The story begins in 1558 A.D., in Kingsbridge (fictional town) England and Queen Mary Tudor is on the throne. Our protagonist is Ned Willard who’s just arrived home from abroad and once again England has embraced the Catholic religion so the Protestants are being persecuted if exposed.
Due to unfortunate circumstances with the family’s merchant business Ned finds work under William Cecil who is responsible for the Princess Elizabeth Tudor. For the next decades Ned works for the Crown in uncovering plots and conspiracies using a network of spies, domestic and abroad.
This is a turbulent time in English history as well as Europe. As the Protestant religion gains converts and rapidly expands the Holy See encourages total annihilation of all heretics even issuing a Papal Bull for the assassination of the now Queen Elizabeth I. As we follow the different story lines we visit France, the Netherlands, Spain and Hispaniola, traveling overland or by ship.
Plenty of action takes place in all venues from battles at sea to daring escapes and descriptive carnage resulting from riots.
There are some tender moments of romance and even some explicit language but from beginning to end this is a very creative and wonderfully written story.
Added 1st March 2018