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Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake, #3)
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(Matthew Shardlake #3)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  22,789 ratings  ·  1,178 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
Hardcover, 583 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Viking Books (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 sta…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)
Joost Noordermeer The next one will be Tombstone, due to arrive in October I believer. It will be the seventh book in the Shardlake series :)

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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
“I looked at the little houses along Petergate and thought again of the rule preventing citizens from casting sewage in the streets or in the river while the Progress was here. It would be piling up in their backyards. It was symbolic of the King’s visit: all glitter and show in front, a pile of turds behind.”

My, how things have changed (not, sadly). Henry VIII’s England. C. J. Sansom drops you straight in it, stink and all. I love the Matthew Shardlake series, but I find I have to come up f
Sean Barrs
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 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, clearly he is no
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third in the Matthew Shardlake series takes us to York , in the midst of Henry VIII's brutal supression of Northern England known as the Progress.

Matthew Sharlake comes face to face with Henry's reign of terror (and the machinations of his henchman such as the conniving Sir Richard Rich) the book revealing Henry as a cruel tyrant , while discovering embaraasing facts that put his life in danger , and keep us speculating in an excellent cross between historical and detective novel.

The sights
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
C.J. Sansom continues to develop his great set of historical mysteries, all set during the Tudor era. With Thomas Cromwell executed, Matthew Shardlake is in definite limbo, trying to distance himself from his one-time superior while keeping a legal practice running effectively. The Cromwell void is filled soon thereafter when Archbishop Cranmer turns to Shardlake and asks that he make his way to York, where King Henry VIII will soon travel. Still reeling from the clashes with the Crown, York is ...more
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
“You have rescued him from suspicion, Brother Shardlake.”
“I would not have anyone under false suspicion. Even Radwinter.”
“Maleverer’s smile turned into a cruel smirk. ‘Jesu, sir, you are a righteous prig. I wish I could afford your scruples.’”

For most histories, the Progress to the North of 1541 is given little comment. Yet, this was a critical time for Henry VIII in securing his rule after he had disposed of his “handyman” Thomas Cromwell. C.J. Sansom gives us many of the intimate details of th
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Matthew Shardlake does it again. He retains his integrity while solving another involved crime. Who is sovereign? Is it the brutal, infamous king, Henry VIII? Do the conspirators from the north have proof of the authentic ruler?

Sovereign is a mystery set in the 16C. The Great Progression occurred in 1541; King Henry, his court, servants, and a thousand soldiers left London for the northern city of York, a total of over 3,000 people. The inhabitants in the north, mostly still Papists, were less t
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-loved
I took longer to get to this book than I meant to, but I'm pleased I finally did! I really love this series, it's utterly gripping. There are times when something is mentioned and I think, 'Surely not?!' but a quick Google often confirms it. A spoiler free example of this is the practice of hanging people in chains. An awful thing to consider.

Of course this is historical fiction, so I really appreciate C.J. Sansom's Historical Note at the end of the book, which provides some helpful information
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
Oct 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: BBC Radio Listeners

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
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Pam Baddeley
After jumping ahead and reading a couple of later books in this series, managed to get this earlier volume which I have enjoyed. In this Matthew Shardlake, lawyer, and his clerk/bodyguard/sidekick Jack Barak are in York as part of the King's progress to the North. The political situation is tense following a second conspiracy discovered and crushed, only five years after the Pilgrimage of Grace which Henry VIII was only able to subdue by deceit and treachery. Shardlake is part of the legal team ...more
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 15, 2015 rated it liked it
This is the only book I have read in Matthew Shardlake series. The story, set up in the reign of Henry VIII, is pretty dark. There were a lot of history included in the story with the horrible brutalities and the severe torture those who were regarded as King's enemies suffered; and on the other side the treacheries and personal vengeance the powerful Lords carried out in the name of the King unknown to him.

The story was a good historical mystery but the involvement of too much brutality toward
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
4.5 stars

Well this one was an absolute treat!
The story starts about a year or so after the events of Dark Fire. Hunchback lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak have been keeping their heads down after the fall of Cromwell. Peace doesn’t last forever though, now they are thrown into a new mission thanks to Archbishop Cranmer. Tasked with the welfare of a prisoner, one who is to be taken from York to the Tower of London for questioning and torture, Matthew and Jack find their way
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
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. ...more
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
Karen Witzler
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The King's Progress to the North after the Rebellion. Poor Kitty Howard! Once again, Post- Anne Boleyn Britain and the era of religious reform has an atmosphere eerily similar to our own time. Culture wars, fanatics, opportunists,mad conspiracy theories, dangerous tyrants; The Mouldwarp.

Details of the Progress were quite good.

Am moving forward to #7 Tombland which features a young Elizabeth and Boleyn relatives.
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved it.
This man is a genius.
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

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.)
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, fiction
Another fabulous read in the Matthew Shardlake series. It did get a tad too long for me,but the story was an interesting one set during King Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine Howard. I look forward to more of these. ...more
Alva McDermott
May 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
A slow starter but as with the previous two in this series, fantastic once they get going. What makes these so good is that the end is somewhat predictable while coming from an entirely unpredictable route.
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
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
Book 3 of the Matthew Shardlake series. This one, like book 1, Dissolution, takes place for the most part away from London. The setting is York, where Henry VIII’s progress is set to arrive. Shardlake has been appointed to assist with the petitions that the King will hear while there, something he accepts as he is in need of money. Alongside, Archbishop Cranmer charges him with a second mission, one he is reluctant to accept but has to—to ensure the welfare of a conspirator, Sir Edward Broderick ...more
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
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
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
'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
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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

Other books in the series

Matthew Shardlake (7 books)
  • Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake, #1)
  • Dark Fire (Matthew Shardlake, #2)
  • Revelation (Matthew Shardlake, #4)
  • Heartstone (Matthew Shardlake, #5)
  • Lamentation (Matthew Shardlake, #6)
  • Tombland (Matthew Shardlake, #7)

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Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” So, this January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King...
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“Perhaps you may find work at court again.”
“When the Queen is dead? Perhaps to be a servant in the household of a new Queen, watching to see how long she will last, what secrets I may accidentally hear that could get me into trouble? No, I will never go back to work there, whatever they pay ... They say at Whitehall Lady Rochford has gone mad in the Tower, screams and raves and can make no sensible answer. The poor Queen is held at Hampton Court, Jesu knows what state she is in. Still, a woman must smile and be cheerful, must she not?” She twisted her face into a parody of a girlish smile, then turned and ran from the room.”
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