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Heartstone (The Shardlake Series) Book
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Joanne Leddington30 September 2010
Heartstone is the fifth novel in CJ Sansom's excellent Matthew Shardlake series.
Set two years after the events of Revelation, Heartstone begins in the summer of 1545 as England is preparing for war. Henry VIII's insatiable desire for power and glory led him to invade France but his army was defeated and now a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel and take advantage of England's weakened position. The English fleet is being mustered at Portsmouth and desperate steps are being taken throughout the country to raise the largest militia army ever called upon. Times are especially tough as Henry VIII had debased the currency in order to pay for his invasion folly and the people of England are struggling as inflation spirals out of control.
Lawyer Matthew Shardlake knows that his disability as well as his age means that he will not be called up for service with the militia but he is worried about the future for his assistant Barack. Fortunately a summons reaches them from Queen Catherine Parr, a lady who owes Shardlake a favour, asking Shardlake to investigate claims of 'monsterous wrongs' that are alleged to have been committed against a ward of the court. Shardlake and Barack travel to Portsmouth to investigate the matter and, as the city prepares for war, Shardlake uses the trip as an opportunity to investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettipace, a woman incarcerated in Bedlam who Shardlake became acquainted with during the events of Revelation. As the incidents involving the young ward and the mysterious circumstances of Ellen Fettipace's family begin to draw together and the King's great warships prepare for battle, Matthew Shardlake is forced to confront both an old friend and an old enemy.
Although Heartstone begins slowly with a great deal of exposition, the pace soon hots up and tension builds throughout this terrific novel as Shardlake winds his way towards the thrilling denouncement aboard the Mary Rose. I'm still just as fond of Mathew Shardlake as I was when I read the first book in this series, in him CJ Sansom has created an excellent and believable hero. His character continues to grow and Heartstone offers an opportunity to witness the worst aspects of Tudor life and to see just how difficult it is for kind and just people such as Matthew Shardlake to survive and uphold their principles during the turbulent reign of Henry VIII. Samson has once again managed to bring the Tudor times to life with vivid detail and a huge amount of interesting incidental information. The mystery this time round was just as twisting and complex as I had hoped and I only managed to unravel it myself just before Shardlake laid out all of the facts for us.
I don't believe that there is a date for the book yet although I certainly hope that there will be one. Even though Matthew Shardlake is getting older and increasingly world-weary, I still believe he has a lot more mystery solving in him. Princess Elizabeth features slightly in Heartstone and it would be interesting to see if she will play a larger role in future Shardlake books.
Summer, 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel ...Meanwhile, Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr.
Summer 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone badly wrong and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel ...Meanwhile Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr. Asked to investigate claims of 'monstrous wrongs' committed against his young ward Hugh Curteys by Sir Nicholas Hobbey Shardlake and his assistant Barak journey to Portsmouth. There Shardlake also intends to investigate the mysterious past of Ellen Fettiplace a young woman incarcerated in the Bedlam. Once in Portsmouth Shardlake and Barak find themselves in a city preparing for war. The mysteries surrounding the Hobbey family and the events that destroyed Ellen's family nineteen years before involve Shardlake in reunions both with an old friend and an old enemy close to the throne. Soon events will converge on board one of the king's great warships gathered in Portsmouth harbour waiting to sail out and confront the approaching French fleet...
Bestselling author C.J. Sandom 's Heartstone tells the story of Henry VIII's invasion of France in 1545. An invasion that has gone badly wrong and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel. Meanwhile, Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case by an old servant of Queen Catherine Parr. Soon events will converge on board one of the king's great warships gathered in Portsmouth harbour, waiting to sail out and confront the approaching French fleet... A thrilling read for anyone interested in historical fiction!
It was summer 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone badly wrong and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel. As the English fleet gathers at Portsmouth the country raises the largest militia army it has ever seen. The King has debased the currency to pay for the war.
Shardlake goes to war ... Summer, 1545. England is at war. Henry VIII's invasion of France has gone badly wrong, and a massive French fleet is preparing to sail across the Channel ...Meanwhile, Matthew Shardlake is given an intriguing legal case...
- C. J. Sansom
- 3 September 2010
- Hardcover (Book)
- First Edition 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
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