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Because what the Net really needs is another person sharing his uninformed views
Book review: Heartstone 
15th-Mar-2011 03:12 pm
Prideavatar
Just looking at my review of the previous Shardlake novel and I see I made an accurate prediction to aka_kelly in the comments, that C.J. Sansom would want to set one more book in Henry VIIIs era before skipping ahead to Bloody Mary and I was right - Heartstone does indeed develop on the relationship with Catherine Parr, now queen, set up in Revelation. She's who Shardlake is now working for as he's sent off to the South of England to investigate a very cryptic message about a child being mistreated in an unspecified way. The background is the failed invasion attempt by the French at the end of Henry's reign and the sinking of the Mary Rose; the book's tagline is "Shardlake goes to war" but although this is the case I found the mystery at the Priory, and Shardlake's adjacent quest on a personal matter (again rising out of the previous book and his visits to Bedlam) the best parts - it's like a country house mystery thrown into the 16th Century and it makes for an interesting mix. In an afterword Sansom points out Henry VIII died 6 months after these fictionalised events so I guess the sixth book will have a new monarch in charge, probably at least one set during the Edward VI regency before skipping ahead to Mary. The fifth novel also sees Shardlake briefly meeting the future Elizabeth I so there may be long-term plans in store; although I do wonder how long Sansom intends to let an already middle-aged hunchback in the Tudor period live for? This was another one I read on the Kindle and I have to admit it's nice, knowing how big the actual paper version of the book is, not having to lug that around with me for the last couple of weeks.
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