Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake Series #3)

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Overview

The third Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery by C. J. Sansom, the bestselling author of Winter in Madrid and Dominion

C. J . Sansom has garnered a wider audience and increased critical praise with each new novel published. His first book in the Matthew Shardlake series, Dissolution, was selected by P. D. James in The Wall Street Journal as one of her top five all-time favorite books. Now in Sovereign, Shardlake faces ...

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Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake Series #3)

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Overview

The third Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery by C. J. Sansom, the bestselling author of Winter in Madrid and Dominion

C. J . Sansom has garnered a wider audience and increased critical praise with each new novel published. His first book in the Matthew Shardlake series, Dissolution, was selected by P. D. James in The Wall Street Journal as one of her top five all-time favorite books. Now in Sovereign, Shardlake faces the most terrifying threat in the age of Tudor England: imprisonment int he Tower of London.

Shardlake and his loyal assistant, Jack Barak, find themselves embroiled in royal intrigue when a plot against King Henry VIII is uncovered in York and a dangerous conspirator they've been charged with transporting to London is connected to the death of a local glazer.

 

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Editorial Reviews

Deirdre Donahue
When historical fiction clicks, there's nothing more gripping . . . and C.J. Sansom's fantastic Sovereign left me positively baying for more. It's that good. . . . Rebellion, plots, torture, fanaticism, a murder mystery and a real historical scandal come alive in this deeply satisfying novel.
USA Today
The Sunday Independent (London)
Authors of the caliber of P. D. James, Ruth Rendell, Ian Rankin, and Minette Walters remain rare. C. J. Sansom's Sovereign . . . deserves as wide a readership as any of the above. . . . It's deeper, stronger, and subtler than most novels in the genre.
Publishers Weekly

Sansom's engrossing third historical featuring Matthew Shardlake (after 2005's Dark Fire) finds the hunchbacked barrister at the vortex of strife-torn Tudor England in the rainy autumn of 1541. Northern Britain anxiously awaits the arrival of the Great Progress taking Henry VIII and an entourage of thousands toward York to quell a fresh rebellion. Recently appointed a legal counsel for the Progress, Shardlake has a secret mission from Archbishop Cranmer to guarantee the safe return to London of imprisoned conspirator Sir Edward Broderick. With his trusted assistant, Jack Barak, Shardlake also investigates the death of master glazier Peter Oldroyd, a suspected papist, who fell from his ladder and was impaled on glass shards. Their search of Oldroyd's house reveals intriguing documents that question the royal line of succession and even impugn Henry. Despite complex court politics and several attempts on his life, Shardlake stalwartly maintains his integrity while searching for truth amid the "vipers' nest" of Henry's court. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Renaissance barrister Matthew Shardlake joins Henry VIII's mammoth progress to the rebellious North on a mission from the wily Cardinal Cranmer. In the rainy autumn of 1541, in the city of York, clever, upwardly mobile, hunchback lawyer Shardlake and his trusty Jewish clerk Jack Barak slog through trackless forests with orders to protect an imprisoned rebel from his sadistic jailer. Cardinal Cranmer wants the prisoner brought back alive to London where he can be properly tortured for information about a recent conspiracy to unseat the once-glorious monarch, now obese and limping and on his fifth wife. The gloomy city is seething with resentment as Henry's gigantic entourage approaches. Advance forces have taken over desecrated monasteries to house the thousands of soldiers, lawyers, courtiers, caterers and whores comprising the royal progress, and the Yorkers hate them all. Shardlake quickly stumbles onto the grisly murder of a glazier with ties to the rebellion and then himself becomes the victim of a string of attacks when he finds that the victim was guarding an old jewelry box containing documents that could blow the Tudor succession to bits. He's knocked unconscious before he can read the papers, which quickly vanish, but someone thinks he knows enough to make him a danger. Shardlake has to elude the murderers, avoid his arch-enemy Sir Richard Rich and stay out of the way of the grumpy monarch, whose frisky, much younger wife, Catherine Howard, may be involved in a fatal flirtation. While Jack dallies with a pretty servant from Queen Catherine's retinue, Shardlake gets assistance in his inquiries from a kindly old colleague who knows more about the conspiracy than he lets on. Asalways, former lawyer Sansom (Dark Fire, 2005, etc.) fleshes out the detection with rich historic details presented at a stately pace. Highly intelligent entertainment.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780330451161
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Publication date: 3/9/2007
  • Series: Matthew Shardlake Series, #3
  • Pages: 592
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

C. J. Sansom, the internationally bestselling author of the novels Winter in Madrid and Dominion and the Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery series, earned a Ph.D. in history and was a lawyer before becoming a full-time writer.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

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(15)

4 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2011

    Pricing

    The Kindle price for this book is $7.88. Why is the Nook edition priced so much higher?

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    Matthew Shardlake is wonderful!!!!!!

    I have read first 2 books in this series and am in love with the setting and characters. This is how I enjoy learning history....throw in a good mystery or romance along with actual facts and I absorb all. Love it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2011

    Pricing!

    I second that last post! Why ARE the nook books so expensive? Makes me want to buy the paperback at borders!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2009

    Sovereign -- the perfect union of mystery with history.

    After reading DISSOLUTION and DARK FIRE I eagerly awaited the 3rd novel in this enjoyable series and certainly wasn't disappointed with SOVEREIGN. It is a superior read with an exciting plot, believable characters and a "you are there" description of Tudor England. I found the scene with Matthew in the Tower totally nerve-racking -- no pun intended. I sincerely hope Mr. Sansom is considering another adventure for Matthew and Jack.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    The best one!!

    Although I love all of CJ Sansom's books I thought this is the best one. I highly recommend it. I wish the author would write more in the series. They are wonderful books...I give them as gifts.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 30, 2012

    I am hooked! This is the sad part of finding an excellent series

    I am hooked! This is the sad part of finding an excellent series like this: I have now completed the third installment and only have two to go with no news of a sixth book! - alas! to have loved and lost...

    England during the 16th century has long been a fascination of mine. Short of a time machine this is the best way to visit! Imagine the tumult to the populous King Henry caused when he told the Pope to take a hike! Granted this is the Protestant Reformation and the world was ready for a change, but to live through that change.

    I would love to see this series or at least spin-off series surf through the tumult after Henry VIII dies. There is the nine day reign of Queen Jane; Bloody Mary as she tries to subjugate England under Spain; and the touch-and-go start Queen Elizabeth's reign. Then there is Elizabeth's rise beginning the British Empire, upon which the sun never set! The rumors that sir Francis Bacon is indeed Elizabeth's son, etc...

    And through all of that societal upheaval and tumult stands the unassuming Matthew Shardlake. (This is very close to the beginnings of the middle class.) It is here where the story gets its sole. Matthew begins the series as an Idealist finding his cause in the reform movements. As the series progresses, Matthew sees first hand how power corrupts. He modifies his philosophy the best he is able seeing good on both sides of the Papist - Reformist struggle. Leaving himself but a razor's edge to walk upon.

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  • Posted February 26, 2012

    Great book! Great series!

    I have read the whole series. Matthew Sharlake is my favorite "detective"!

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  • Posted September 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fabulous

    Every book in this series held my attention in a way that most mystery/crime books no longer can do. I loved every minute of the reading and stayed up late when I couldn't put the book down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2010

    As Good as it gets!

    I have read the first two Matthew Shardlake mysteries and find that they are outstanding. Series #3 is the best yet. The attention to detail and the historic research put into his books is just outstanding and would be well worth reading for that alone. The great part about it is that the mystery surrounding the history is also well thought out and researched. Shardlake is a great character. I enjoy reading these books and only hope that the author continues with this series. I have also purchased Series #4 and look forward to reading it. The most interested part of this was the logistics of making a royal trip on land. You won't be disappointed.

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  • Posted April 3, 2010

    I want the whole series.....

    I love these books!!! When does this one arrive as an ebook? I can't go any further until I read this one and I want it for my Nook with all the rest.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Sansom's become my favorite author

    Mr. Sansom is without a doubt a jewel in the crown of historical fiction and suspense! He quickly became my favorite author after the first installment in the Matthew Shardlake series. Mr. Shardlake is a wonderful creation. His ethics are so honorable and yet he is so utterly human. I admire him greatly and am very attached to him. I certainly hope Mr. Sansom continues to write with Shardlake at the center. Sovereign continues to pull me into not only the time historically, but into the lives of the characters themselves. I always longed to go back to the book and as I neared its end I was sad to let them go. That is the true evidence of an author who has captured my heart. I await Mr. Sansom's April unveiling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    If you love Tudor England- this is the book for you

    While in the midst of uncovering secrets and a killer characters have conversations about the current and past monarch- shedding light on family trees and lines of succession.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2007

    Perfect

    Another well written book from this author. Sovereign picks up the story where Dark Fire left off. A book that is worth the time and money. The series is started by Dissolution Dark fire Sovereign

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2010

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews

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