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Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake, #1)
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Group Read Series Discussion > Group Series: Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake #1)

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message 1: by Jackie, That's Her Constableness to you! (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2463 comments Mod
The Matthew Shardlake Series is the 3rd HF group series chosen.

Each book in the series will be read in a period of 2 months. The schedule is as follows:
Book 1- Dissolution: September 1st - October 31st
Book 2- Dark Fire: November 1st - December 31st

After Book 2 we will vote on whether or not to read Book 3. If the group chooses not to continue we will move onto a new series. Those who want to continue can feel free to create a buddy read.


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Anna (annamatsuyama) | 6 comments My favourite series! After the first book the series improves so much, IMO. I may reread them :)


Shomeret | 248 comments I started reading the series with a later book and never read Dissolution. I know I must be missing character background. I was intending to read
Dissolution eventually. But I'm in grad school, so I'm not sure I'll be able to get to it. I took it out of the library, and didn't have time for it, though I really did want to read it.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 409 comments It's a good book, and not as fat as some of the later ones in the series.


message 5: by Janice (JG) (new) - added it

Janice (JG) | 69 comments It is interesting to read from the narrator's POV as a Reformer, tho' I cringe at what seems like occasional virulent anti-Catholicism (which would be normal in that time, in that place). I do notice that the author has the narrator also occasionally straddling the fence between systems & churches, so it will be interesting to see where this leads.


Louise | 4435 comments I'm just in the early stages of the story, but enjoying it.


message 7: by Allie (new) - added it

Allie Been going back & forth on reading this series for a while...now I Polly will cuz its the group read. Just added all 5 books to my already overwhelmingly long tbr list. Thanks a lot Historical Fictionistas lol.


message 8: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 591 comments Just finished this book independently, so I'm delighted it's a group read! I very much enjoyed the hero's reformer bent, especially the points where he was so patently misguided or blind. I think there's a tendency to whitewash the Dissolution - after all, without Henry VIII's divorce and his split from Rome, we don't get Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I, religious equality in England, and 8 billion Tudor novels. But in reality it was a very complicated and painful process, where monks and nuns with a lifestyle they valued were forced into something else, and where the abuses by the Reformers who seized monastic property were every bit as egregious as the offenses they piled at the door of Catholicism. In "Dissolution," it's moving to see the hero in Burning Idealism phase, trying to push away any rumors that his treasured cause might not be as pure as he thought. I can only assume that throughout the series, he'll come to a more balanced view. But it's good to see a hero in a book be wrong - protagonists shouldn't always have the perfect viewpoints as if they've read the history book and know what side they're supposed to be on!


message 9: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Sep 28, 2013 05:24PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 409 comments I've read the whole series - yes, his views change and develop over time.

ETA: This is one of my favorite historical series.


message 10: by Kate (new)

Kate Quinn | 591 comments Also, having just written a book with a dwarf hero, I really appreciated Shardlake as the hero-with-deformity (in his case a hunched back). Giving a character a deformity in a historical novel adds a whole level of complications, not just to the physical but to the mental and emotional. For the ultimate - Claudius in "I, Claudius" who coped with a stammer, a nervous twitch, and a limp - and as Emperor of Rome.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

I've heard so much about this series that I'm glad to have the excuse to dive in. Started it last night and am enjoying the unique protagonist so far.


Maggie | 39 comments If I can find the book soon enough I'll be reading this one.


message 13: by E.M. (new) - rated it 5 stars

E.M. Powell Great to see this as a group read. It's (probably!) my favourite book in one of my favourite series so it's great to re-read. Through Shardlake, Sansom brings us right into a dangerous court in what must have been terrifying times. I love the knitting together of historical fact with fiction and it's so skilfully done. If anyone still has the book on their tbr list, then I strongly recommend they start reading!


Lesley | 59 comments I've just finished this book, and have to say it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I particularly liked the period of time it is set in, along with the somewhat unique protagonist - Matthew Shardlake was not always right in either his solving of the crime nor his people skills.

I'd not come across this series until being introduced to it here. I am looking forward to the next title in the series.


message 15: by Bell (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bell (nickhudson) | 1 comments I have now read about 15% of this novel. At first I was really thrilled that this book was a group read since I have wanted to get into this series for a long time...but...it starts really, really slow. Good historical novels (specially in the historical crime genre) give us the historical landscape and world thru action, but in this case you have read tedious, slow and long starting act that it not necessary.

Oh well, I guess I will read a bit more, but if it does not tighten it´s storytelling, I will not finish this novel.


Tasha I have this waiting for me at the library which I will pick up by the weekend. I am really looking forward to this one. I have had this on my tbr for a long time and am so glad to have an excuse to get to it.

@Ella's Gran, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it and are looking forward to the next in the series. I already have that one out from the library.

I am expecting to enjoy this series as friends I know who have read it have praised it highly. :)


Tasha I finished this and really enjoyed it. I'm so glad to have gotten this series started and plan on moving right along.


Maggie | 39 comments I'm just about to start the first book, sounds like an enjoyable series


message 19: by Chris (last edited Dec 13, 2013 08:41PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chris (cdavies1951) | 22 comments Better late than never - I'm starting now.

I've just finished Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake, #1) by C.J. Sansom and thoroughly enjoyed it both from the historical perspective and as a mystery.


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