Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Cardinal's Man” as Want to Read:
The Cardinal's Man
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Cardinal's Man

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  20 reviews
'Gritty and lively...a colourful depiction of 17th century France'
– CAROL BIRCH, author of Jamrach's Menagerie
A SPELLBINDING TALE SET IN CARDINAL RICHELIEU'S FRANCE With enemies advancing on all sides and Cardinal Richelieu health failing, France is at breaking point. Yet salvation may arrive in the most unlikely form...

Born into poverty and with terrible deformities, Seba

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published July 11th 2017 by Black & White Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Cardinal's Man, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Cardinal's Man

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  81 ratings  ·  20 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Cardinal's Man
Emily at Reaching While Rooted
Does anyone else here just love Game of Thrones? Books, TV series, for me it doesn't matter. And of all the characters that make up the series (over 150 major characters) Tyrion Lanister is one of my hands down favorites. The dwarf underdog is a fiery man with a wicked sharp wit and a dark sense of humor. Tyrion is a social pariah, but he doesn't let his differences stop him from rising to be one of the most powerful characters in the entire series.

So when I saw The Cardinal's Man by M.G. Sincla
I loved this book immensley, my raing is 5 stars. This book starts in 1608 in Carmoches, Normandy with the life of Sebastian Morra, born with dwarfism. We are told of his early life and the prejudice shown because of his differences to other people. His parents are poor and manual labour is the only work available to him. But due to his size, his physically unable to complete the majority of tasks. As the years pass he leaves his village and heads to Paris.

He manages to gain employment in the co
Chiara Ropolo
3.5* https://lalettricesullenuvole.blogspo...

Questo libro racconta la vita di Sebastian Morra, un nano nato nel XVII secolo in un paesino sperduto della Francia.
Amato dalla madre, tollerato dai fratelli, viene però considerato un mostro, un abominio, da tutti gli altri. Il suo fisico diverso poi gli impedisce di lavorare per sopravvivere, ma dopo diverse peripezie riesce a diventare un giullare nella corte Reale.

Intelligente, colto e dalla lingua affilata, per una serie di eventi diventerà una s
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another novel inspired by one of Velasquez's paintings of the dwarfs at the Spanish royal court. In this instance, the main character is Don Sebastian de Morra, whose story is set in both the royal court of Louis XIII of France then the Spanish Court at the beginning of what will become known as the War of the Spanish Succession.

Who could ask for a better backdrop into which a distinctive character is inserted, and is central - yet despite his wit, Sebastian is still out of his depth in a court
Karen Cole
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Cardinal's Man was inspired by Velázquez's portrait of court dwarf, Sebastián de Morra and although is a fictionalised telling of his story, many of the characters and events are broadly based on historical facts, albeit with some alterations for dramatic effect. Although not a period I'm knowledgeable about (and as I've never watched Game of Thrones the Tyrion Lannister reference meant little to me!) I was soon completely absorbed by this book.
Told in chronological order, we are introduced
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
I am fully aware that works of historical fiction ARE fiction, but nonetheless my personal knowledge of history is almost exclusively obtained through reading historical novels. Would I have picked up a biography of Cardinal Richelieu? No, I don't think so, but I enthusiastically read this story.

I was thoroughly mesmerized by THE CARDINAL'S MAN, which centered around Richelieu's domination of the court of Louis XIII. Mr. Sinclair's story of political intrigue was told through the relationship o
Stephanie Matheson
It’s a great read. I love the story and enjoyed every page of the book. It was always a pleasure to retreat for some reading time and plunge back into 17th century France (and Spain) to see what would happen to Sebastian next. The book brings the era to life and I liked the settings and descriptions, and the use of all the senses – sight, smell, hearing, touch….

First and foremost: This book is sublimely written. Clever and witty. I often had to smile about a description or a phrase I liked. The
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love a good book where the underdog not only survives, but triumphs. This is one such book. At the heart of the story is Sebastian, a dwarf. He is bullied, beaten, cheated, cast out, and struggles to survive. With is cunning wit and wily courage, he is able to survive the depths of poverty when he is forced to live on the streets. It is there that he learns how to dodge trouble or face it with true grit.

His life turns around when he finds himself as a dwarf entertainer in King Louis' court. N
The Idle Woman
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

This, like Girl with a Pearl Earring, is a novel born from a painting, from a striking face that seems to look out at us across centuries and to spark a shock of fellow-feeling. While Tracey Chevalier's famous book took its inspiration from the coy glance of a Dutch teenager, Sinclair's story is inspired by a much more direct confrontation: Diego Velazquez's Portrait of Don Sebastián Morra, in the Prado, dating from 1645. Using this powerful image as a starting point, Sinclair reimagine
Zelda Rhiando
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is beautifully written and intensely imagined. I was drawn into the 17th Century France, from Sebastian's harsh early years in a remote fishing village, through to his expert and sometimes hair-raising navigation of the intrigues and danger of the royal court. It's beautifully plotted too. A must-read! ...more
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks Black & White Publishing and netgalley for this ARC.

This story will make you feel sad and a little sorry for Sebastian Morra but this will not stand up to the test of time. I felt at the end admiration and a keen hurrah for the underdog in life. You can overcome any obstacle if you use your strengths and wits.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Highly entertaining historical drama, using a painting in the Prado Museum as its starting point. Set a century and a half before the French Revolution, is worth a try if you like this genre of fiction.
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was not that keen on reading this book so was putting it off. However once I picked it up I couldn't put it down.


Not factually accurate, which is a shame, the story drags you in and keeps you there.

A must read
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Overall, I enjoyed this story. It is an entirely fictional tale loosely built around some historical material. At times, the story stretched credibilty too far but it remained a good read.
Liz C
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very good

An interesting and entertaining read. I do hope the author does a sequel as Sebastian in Spain could be good.
Joanna Park
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Review to come!
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm torn. I want to give it 5 but there are some things that bugged me.
Victorique Crawford
I really like the tale. Written in such a way that interested me, and about a very interesting person.

The life of court dwarfs aren’t that nice, having to make a fool of themselves and probably do all sorts of things. Sebastian is one, although he does take it but because he has little choice while hiding his mind.

I enjoyed his mind, and the kind of beliefs that he held. All the while may be educated but he mostly spent it being a fool rather than used despite his intelligence. Although Sebastia
Shula Sinclair
rated it it was amazing
Jul 17, 2017
david whitby
rated it really liked it
Jul 13, 2020
mr Shaun Beattie
rated it it was amazing
Feb 21, 2019
Christine Joyner
rated it it was amazing
Mar 26, 2018
Dave Nelson
rated it really liked it
Feb 14, 2018
Manuela Menna
rated it really liked it
Jul 24, 2019
David Stewart
rated it really liked it
Mar 11, 2018
Colette Musgrave
rated it it was amazing
Apr 20, 2018
Alessandra Licini
rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2020
nicola sharp
rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2018
Mike Whitehead
rated it it was amazing
Apr 11, 2018
rated it liked it
Mar 08, 2018
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Quo Vadis
  • The Queen of the Night (Ancient Rome, #4)
  • The Lost Army
  • Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life
  • The Cardinal and the Queen
  • Esarhaddon King of Assyria
  • La Mort est mon métier
  • The Egyptian
  • Empire of Dragons
  • The Red Sphinx: A Sequel to The Three Musketeers
  • The King's General
  • River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life
  • Grey Eminence
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • A Girl Named Anna
  • The Second Sleep
  • The Three Musketeers (The D'Artagnan Romances, #1)
  • Masks and Shadows (Masks and Shadows, #1)
See similar books…

Related Articles

Of Women and Salt, the debut novel by Gabriela Garcia, has the feel of a sweeping family saga that’s hard to reconcile with the fact that it’s...
4 likes · 0 comments