Laura C.'s Reviews > Sovereign

Sovereign by C.J. Sansom
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's review
Mar 23, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read in March, 2012

Another Matthew Shardlake mystery, this one involving the great Henry VIII himself. What I really love about Mr. Sansom’s novels is that they are both historical novels and captivating mysteries. Everything about it has the feel of careful, unromanticized research. I have read many a wonderful book about royalty, and even a few where the story revolves around the rising middle class during those turbulent times. What sets this series apart is the particularly well drawn portrait of an ordinary man (like us), thrust by his education and indeed, his ambition, to the outskirts of real power. He must try to figure out how the royal wind will blow, and how to navigate the commands of the treacherous and greedy players around the throne. He must figure out what he thinks of theology, what it means to be a good son, and how to be a good friend. Most of all, he must solve a compelling mystery all the while staying true to that new and daring freedom of conscience – which is in fact not without consequence, and which we all take too much for granted now.

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