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Sovereign: A Shardlake Novel (Matthew Shardlake #3)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  14,074 Ratings  ·  818 Reviews
Autumn, 1541. King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to attend an extravagant submission by his rebellious subjects in York.

Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a secret mission for Archbishop Cranmer – to ensure
ebook, 672 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Vintage Canada (first published August 15th 2006)
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Kai They involve same characters and their relotionships evolve. Historically novels are also in chronological order. So in that sense no they are not…moreThey involve same characters and their relotionships evolve. Historically novels are also in chronological order. So in that sense no they are not standalone. Sametime each book has it's own unique storyline. Some mentioning is done to novels past but nothing serious. People that are not too osd could easily read these novels in wrong order or just read one and leave it there.(less)
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Description the First:

Take Sherlock Holmes and...

1. Crook his back "Quasimodo" style (oh how I wanted to say “bend it like Beckham” instead, but I figure it's time we all move on from that one)...and make sure you include a nice hump;
2. Surgically remove 92.7% of the arrogant, ego-maniacal self love;
3. Replace Watson with a street-wise, well connected tough guy while deleting all hints of “bromantic tension” between the two;
4. Change the setting f
Bookdragon Sean
We all know what it’s like to anticipate something so much that we are literally shaking with excitement. Shardlake had similar feelings about meeting his king; he couldn’t wait to behold the presence of King Henry VIII. Except when that moment finally comes it almost breaks Shardlake in two.

What does the obese matricidal tyrant do to cause such a reaction?


Well he publicly humiliates Shardlake by mocking his appearance because clearly the king is the very essence of physical perfection, clearl

Revisit is via R4 dramatisation: Atmospheric dramatisation of C. J. Sansom's third Tudor crime novel featuring hunchback lawyer detective Matthew Shardlake.

Autumn, 1541. King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Royal Progress to York, aiming to strike fear and awe into his rebellious northern subjects. Shardlake, and his assistant Barak, arrive in the city a day ahead of the 3,000-strong procession. Officially there to prepare petitions for the King, t
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third Matthew Shardlake novel, following on from Dissolution and Dark Fire. Shardlake is now a much more established character, with Jack Barak as his foil and sidekick, and this is a much more assured novel (which, considering how excellent the first two books are is very impressive). It is 1541 and, after the fall of Cromwell, Shardlake has gone back to his law practice and has taken Barak on to work with him. They are not the only ones to remember Thomas Cromwell though – it is ru ...more
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a good series! Let me quote the comment from the Sunday Times on the cover of the book - "So compulsive that,until you reach the final page, you'll have to be almost physically prised away from it." I so agree! I just wanted to curl up in a corner somewhere and read until I had finished all 653 pages of it without stopping. Of course life isn't like that and I did have to put it down but I rushed back to it as soon as I could every time. In this episode Thomas Cromwell has gone to h ...more
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 ★ s
This should have been an out-and-out 5 star score from me, but I've deducted a half for the patchy editing. It is a shame that a best-selling writer of the calibre of C.J. Sansom does not get the 5 star treatment from his editorial team.

Having said that, this is a thoroughly enjoyable mystery novel, suitably labyrinthine in its plot, as was so typical of the goings-on in the court of Henry VIII.

One of the reasons I'm such a fan of the Matthew Shardlake series is the thoroughness of the re
SOVEREIGN (Historical-England-1541) – VG
Sansom, C.J. – 3rd in series
Macmillan, 2006-Hardcover
*** Lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak are sent to York to ensure the welfare of a prisoner being returned to London for interrogation. Matthew is also to assist with processing legal partitions King Henry VIII during the King’s Progress to York. When local glazier is killed, Matthew and Jack uncover a locked box containing several papers, including a genealogical chart. Before Matthew
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
enjoyed this next part of the shardlake series based just after the pilgrimage of grace as shardlake finds himself in York on Archbishop Cranmer's orders and enter the viper nest of the royal progress and as the plot goes down many red herrings as his life is in peril but like how the story flows and brings york to life.
Sandra Bašić
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Treća priča o grbavom odvjetniku iz Londona Matthewu Shardlakeu smještena je u jesen 1541. Henrik VIII sa svojom svitom putuje na sjever Engleske kako bi ispitao mišljenje stanovnika, bivših pobunjenika protiv kraljeve vladavine. Matthew opet dobiva opasan zadatak - sačuvati urotnika na životu, po nalogu nadbiskupa Cranmera. Da je ostalo samo na tomu, bilo bi dosadno pa se Sansom pobrinuo da se prijestolje Tudora itekako počne klimati, zbog davne, dobro čuvane tajne, a Shardlake će opet nekoliko ...more
Bumped my initial 3 star rating up to 4 after I read the other books in the series. I did like this more than Revelation (2 stars for me) or Dark Fire (I gave this 3 stars, and I did like this book better, so...). It was great to finally see Henry VIII through Matthew's eyes, and the subplot with the prophecy was very interesting. But, again, the mystery fell short for me. Having read the other books back to back and knowing how naive and impressionable Shardlake is, it was fairly easy for me to ...more
Mar 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone who enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl
This is the third Matthew Shardlake mystery by C.J. Sansom. I enjoyed it very much. It's nice to come back to a familiar character and catch up on his latest exploits.

This time he and his assistant Jack Barak are sent to York in the north of England where King Henry VIII and his latest wife, Catherine Howard arrive on a spectacular progress.

Matthew has been employed by Archbishop Cranmer to protect a prisoner accused of treason and conspiracy against the king and make sure that he arrives safe
Boy oh boy, C.J. Sansom has done it again.
This is the third book I have read in this series and for me, it is the best one so far. A rich tapestry of history and character development that is hard to beat.
In this instalment of Sansom's Matthew Shardlake series, Shardlake and Barak find themselves in York awaiting the Royal Progress of Henry VIII. Shardlake is ordered by Archbishop Cranmar to assist a senior York lawyer, Giles Wrenne, in organising and presenting petitions to the King on his arri
Jamie Collins
This book is long and proceeds at a slow pace, but I rather enjoyed that. It was like taking a leisurely stroll through Tudor England. It may even have been a deliberate attempt to give the reader a feel for the slower pace of a time when it took days to travel from one town to the next, particularly if you were a member of the king's ponderous 3000-strong Progress.

Sansom's characterizations are still very good and he delivers historical detail effortlessly. His action scenes are clumsy and unre
Lance Greenfield
Action packed and dramatic

This is the third in the series of Matthew Shardlake adventures and, in my opinion, the best so far. As usual, the lawyer embarks on a dual, dangerous mission, and can trust nobody save, perhaps, his faithful assistant, Barak.

At every turn there is murder, mystery and suspense. Shardlake appears to have many more lives that the nine that are generally accredited to a cat. It is amazing that he survives each day.

Most of this story is set in York, and revolves around the
Matti Karjalainen
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historiasta kinnostuneille
C.J. Sansomin "Itsevaltias" (Otava, 2015) on järjestyksessään kolmas Matthew Shardlakesta kertova historiallinen dekkari, jossa kyttyräselkäinen ja kyyninen asianajajamme joutuu pahemman kerran pulaan matkatessaan kuninkaallisen kiertueen mukana Pohjois-Englantiin. Salaliitot, hovijuonittelut ja toistuvat kuolemantapaukset saattavat Shardlaken ja hänen ystävänsä hengenvaaraan.

Olen pitänyt aiemmistakin Sansomin romaaneista, ja tämä saattoi olla niistä paras, kaikessa lähes seitsemänsadan sivun ko
Bookmarks Magazine

In Dissolution, reformist Matthew Shardlake works with Thomas Cromwell to investigate the death of a royal commissioner; in Dark Fire, he defends a young woman accused of murder. Critics agree that Sovereign is as good as, or even better than, its predecessors. Themes of political ruses, conspiracy, religious fanaticism, and murder, combined with sophisticated plotting, meticulously researched details, and convincing characters (including a cruel, paranoid Henry) recreate the repression, tyranny

Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Za sve ljubitelje povijesnih krimića velika preporuka ove debeljuce...
Puna zanimljivih podataka iz tog povijesnog doba, odlični opisi okoline, likova, te s velikom dozom nepredvidljivih događaja do samog kraja...
Vjerujte isplati se čitati i teško ju je ispustiti iz ruku, mada nije baš lagana za držanje ;)
Ocjena 5!
I need more stars! How did it take me this long to discover CJ Sansom? I'm not sure, but I am grateful for this book showing up in a local used book store and catching my eye. A group read of Dissolution got me started on this series, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Oh, the history! No other writer will immerse you in Tudor England the way CJ Sansom does. The man is a genius, causing the reader to see, smell, and hear the 16th century as effectively as a time machine. The little details th
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
'Sovereign' is the third instalment of Sansom's Shardlake series - historical fiction set during the reign of Henry VIII which tells the story of the lawyer Matthew Shardlake, and the various shenanigans that he encounters.

I have to say, I'm really not that enamoured with this series. They're clearly well researched, and Sansom writes competently enough, but I just don't find them that engaging. Historical fiction isn't a genre that I've ever really been that interested in, and I only started t
John Wiltshire
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't say I've ever liked Henry VIII. This novel did nothing to recommend him to me. The whole of the Shardlake series is tainted by the terror of living in Henry's England, but in this one he is a central figure, and his poisonous evil is as monstrous as his girth.

Set during Henry's progress to York to stamp his authority on the north of England after the disastrous uprising against him, Matthew is given a secret commission by Crammer, the man who replaced Cromwell. There is a prisoner being
Dec 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third in an addicting series of mysteries featuring the Tudor era lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his sidekick Jack Barak. Previously the two have worked with Thomas Cromwell (Dissolution and Dark Fire) but by now Cromwell has met his fate and Matthew and Barak find themselves in the midst of unraveling a plot to challenge Henry VIII’s legitimacy as King of England. For anyone who is intrigued with 16th century England this book brings much of it to life. Ransom is adept at historical d ...more
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2014
This is the third Shardlake book, the lawyer with a hunchback who has a knack for solving the most difficult of crimes and puzzles.

Archbishop Cranmer asks Shardlake to be responsible for the welfare of a conspirator called Broderick and to escort him from York to London. also approaching York at the time is Henry VIII on his progress, a tour of the rebellious North to seek new oaths from the people there and to show force to limit any armed uprisings too.

Shortly after he arrives a glazier dies
David Stringer
Having finished and thoroughly enjoying the first of this series I went to my 'to-read-shelf' and picked this up, thought let's stick with Shardlake and see what he get's up to next. Think I have four books in the series on my shelf that I'm now looking forward to reading. But without realising, I hadn't got the 2nd in the series, so have ended up skipping that, to this one...the third instalment. Hope that doesn't take anything away from the story etc.

And once again the author has done a fantas
Jan 15, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have gotten to page 150 and I'm not going to finish this book. I generally do not review books I don't finish, but I got deep enough into this one that I want to explain why I didn't finish it.

I loved the first two books in the series. In this one, Matthew has been dragged into a situation he doesn't want to be in, AGAIN. OK, that is what it is. But he keeps making his situation worse by doing the most stupid, and dangerous, things. He tells the authorities what the dying man said, although he
Sovereign is as good a read as the previous books, entwining its mysteries with the history of the period. Some of it is obviously invented, but still, it invokes the Tudor period and the Reformation pretty strongly and with attention to detail. It's slow to unfold -- and this one definitely suckers you in with a slow build of emotion, i.e. the bond between Shardlake and Wrenne.

You've got your standard collection of corrupt and incompetent officials, with a bit of torture to spice the dish. A ne
Jessica Howard
Oct 21, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book, much to my relief, since I didn't like the second book in the series as well as the first, and was worried that the series was on a downhill slide. This book had superb imagery, historical detail, and an intriguing mystery all rolled into one. All I have to say is that I'm thankful I live in a time where there is indoor plumbing!! And where there's science to prove crimes...instead of than the rather tortuous (ha! it's a pun!) deductions that Master Matthew Shardlake an ...more

If you like historical mysteries...
If you like Royal intrigue...
If you like conspiracies...
If you like books that set the scene...
If you like your fiction with a grain of truth...
If you have a school girl crush on a " crookback" ( ok this is optional) then this is the book for you.

Though this is the third book in C.J. Sansom's masterful Matthew Shardlake series I believe this book could stand alone.
I picked this up at a booksale, not realizing it was the third book in a series. I read it anyway, and enjoyed it. The story was about a lawyer (Matthew Shardlake) in the time of Henry VIII (circa Katherine Howard) but was also about Richard III and the legitimacy of Henry through that bloodline. (And that storyline is based on a true story, apparently there is some debate as to whether Elizabeth is the true monarch or not. (Alternative family tree here, for those who like that sort of thing.)
Jason Wilson
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third shardlake book .

Another interesting story with excellent use of period as ever that ties into the execution for adultery of Henry 's 5th wife Catherine Howard . A political prisoner who terrifies the Chancellor and names the king after a mythical monster who wants only to die , a tense northern atmosphere after the pilgrimage of grace ........
May 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
This is the third Matthew Shardlake novel I have read, and I wish I had read them all in sequence, not only that, I got a lot of pleasure in reading the last two books together, one after the other. They do come together like one huge novel, and they are much easier to read once you are familiar with the basic characters. The story lines, and the Tudor history played out in the books is chronological. You can duck and dive, but far better to start with the first book and work your way through th ...more
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Tudor-era historical novels written by men? 1 10 Oct 27, 2016 02:31AM  
  • Prophecy (Giordano Bruno, #2)
  • A Deadly Brew (Matthew Bartholomew, #4)
  • Revenger (John Shakespeare, #2)
  • Sacred Treason (Clarenceux, #1)
  • Shadows in Bronze (Marcus Didius Falco, #2)
  • The Confession of Brother Haluin (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael, #15)
  • The Unquiet Bones (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #1)
  • A Trail of Ink (Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon Chronicles #3)
  • Grave Goods (Mistress of the Art of Death, #3)
Christopher John "C.J." Sansom is an English writer of crime novels. He was born in 1952 and was educated at the University of Birmingham, where he took a BA and then a PhD in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he decided to retrain as a solicitor. He practised for a while in Sussex as a lawyer for the disadvantaged, before quitting in order to work full-time as a writer.
He came to promi
More about C.J. Sansom...

Other Books in the Series

Matthew Shardlake (6 books)
  • Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake, #1)
  • Dark Fire (Matthew Shardlake, #2)
  • Revelation (Matthew Shardlake, #4)
  • Heartstone (Matthew Shardlake, #5)
  • Lamentation (Matthew Shardlake, #6)

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