London, 1566. William Harley, Clarenceux King of Arms, lives quietly with his family, with a document in his possession that could destroy the state. When his wife and his daughter go missing, Clarenceux finds himself on the run with his other daughter. He knows he must destroy the document, even if it should cost him his life - but how can he, until he has reunited his family?
©2012 Ian James Forrester Mortimer (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd
Wow, what a cracking cliff-hanger at the end of this trilogy! I loved the first book, and having waited impatiently for the second book (The Roots of Betrayal) I was somewhat disappointed with the meandering plot of that book, with too many pirates and side-plots, and not enough William. But this one was right back on track and sees William finally pushed into a desperate corner by his possession of a document so deadly that it could bring down the Tudor monarchy and plunge England into a bloody religious civil war. Oh boy, what a rollercoaster, especially at the end. I took my mp3 player to bed into the wee small hours because I couldn't wait until the next day to find out how it all ended. I am not going to give spoilers, but enough to say I needed a tissue to blow my nose and wipe away the tears as the book closed on a shattering cliff-hanger. I know it is popular to compare this trilogy to the Rory Clements and CJ Sansom, but for me it is like comparing oranges and apples. This trilogy covers one specific and particular facet of the legitimacy of Elizabeth 1's reign brought into the personal life, soul and conscience of one man. William Harley struggles to balance his Catholic faith with his loyalty to his country (no matter who is on the throne) and his chivalric sense of honour. Add to that the love for his family and loyalty to those closest to him, his sense of never knowing who to trust aside from a bare few, in this third volume, that internal struggle becomes painful and palpable. Bravo James Forrester and bravo also to Mike Grady who narrated it and brought William to life so beautifully and in the final analysis, so poignantly.
It's a compelling take with strong characters and a complex plot, based on real people and events.
Put the religious differences of the Monarchy and their near nobility into context. People, places and names took on a believable life.
Most, despite the fact he occasionally sounded like a discombobulated Dalek. He put life, dialect and accent into every character, making it a dramatic listen.
Great story, great narration.
I enjoyed this despite the misery the author chooses to inflict on the protagonist.
Clarenceux is a most worthy man and his trials and tribulations are dealt with masterfully by the author
Mike Grady gives a great performance I throughly enjoyed the book start to finish
It was a very slow to start and to begin with I did consider returning the book, however the way it was read kept me hooked and the story did develop to the point where I had to find out what was going to happened, the characters developed, and you found yourself wanting to find out more about them. Was a good story.
Loved the way he read the story kept me hooked.
I really had hoped that he would have survived the fire, He was a good man who had the most difficult decisions to make to save his family. He always had hope.
I am glad I did not send it back, really enjoyed the story immensly.
The final sacrement is the third book in the trilogy. The first is Sacred Treason and the second Betrayal of Trust
The author is one of my favourites and I feel he should get more awards. He is a very clever academic man and has been able to produce these historical novels without making them difficult to follow. He has made history easy for us mere mortals (thats me, appologies to all the cleverer people out there)
It is easy to identify with the main chacacter and I hope he will write more historical fiction in the future.
he also writes under the name ian mortimer and is brilliant and a lovely person
if you like hilary mantel you will like james forrester but I like him more
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