Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Roots Of Betrayal by James Forrester

William Harley, known as Clarenceux, is a worried man.  It is 1564, and there are so many ways that a man can be accused of treason and lose his life.  Clarenceux is a Herald of the Queen, someone who is charged with ascertaining the family history and lineage of various individuals.  But he is also a Catholic, and that is a dangerous place to be in the court of Elizabeth. 

There is a document Clarenceux has been charged with keeping for safety.  It could be used to declare Elizabeth illegitimate, and is called The Catholic Treasure.  It is a very dangerous document, as the use of it could tear England apart once more into another bloody religious war.  Imagine Clarenceux's shock when he checks the hiding place and finds it missing.

The Roots Of Betrayal covers the quest to locate the missing document.  It involves those high in the government such as William Cecil, the Queen's chief advisor,  and his man in charge of investigating conspiracies, Francis Walsingham.  On the other side are a Catholic group who call themselves Knights of The Round Table, who are determined to use the document to restore the English crown to a Catholic.  They use Widow Machyn in their plots, aware that Clarenceux has feelings for her.  Other players include corrupt men in the administration who will stop at nothing to keep their power, and a ship of pirates, headed by the most notorious of all, Raw Carew.  Clarenceux must weave his way between all these factions to try to reclaim the treasure that only he can keep safe, preventing another round of bloody war.

James Forrester has written a fast-paced, exciting historical adventure.  Forrester is the pen name of Dr. Ian Mortimer, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and winner of the Alexander Prize for his work on social history.  His scholarship concerns this time period, and the details of the story reveal his knowledge of everyday life in this era.  Readers will thrill to the nail-biting suspense and admire the hero, Clarenceux, who is motivated by love of country and who uses his knowledge and logic to escape the various predicaments he finds himself in.  This book is recommended for readers of historical fiction and for those readers interested in an intriguing suspense tale.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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