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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Saturday, September 28, 2013

'In that one thing--hope--we are brothers'

Roots of Betrayal (Clarenceux Trilogy #2) by James Forrester

...poignant words between Clarenceux and raw Carew, pirate extraordinaire, at their last moment together.  Just prior to this Clarenceux declares the family motto he might adopt if so inclined,'In all our struggles, the last word is hope.'
1564, Southampton Waters: the calm before the storm. Captain Gray is in his cabin with a young girl, his men are dicing on deck, all quickly broken by the cry of 'Boarders--Boarders on deck!' The only warning before all hell breaks loose and the ship is captured.
The opening scenes of a pirate raid propel you quickly into scenes of violence overlaid by a distinct impression of honour or a code that Crew, the pirate Captain adheres to.
Carew is seeking the Catholic treasure and Gray has information he wants.
And in London, William Harvey,  Clarenceux King of Arms, is reflecting on papers he holds for safekeeping. Dangerous, treasonous papers that would likely kill him, and the path that's lead him to this point.  With the documents in his care, 'never did he feel safe. Not for one moment!'
Clarenceux's trials and tribulations continue in this historical thriller of the first water.
All roads keep leading back to Clarenceux and the documents he has secreted, holding in fear and trepidation.
For Clarenceux, circumstances just keep deteriorating. Pursued by the Knights of the Round Table (the Catholic dissenters), Cecil and Walsingham, and raw Carew, he is  fighting once more for his life, for his family and his quest for peace.
I love the way Clarenceux's knowledge of heraldry is given space to be a strength that he puts to use in these unremitting circumstances he's been thrown into.
Meanwhile, Rebecca Machyn's life is once more dictated by powerful and implacable forces.
Murders, spies, plots and counterplots, torture and treason and betrayals surrounding the truth about Tudor England and the Elizabethan throne make for mighty fine reading and a story one can revel in. Stimulating and enjoyable. Although the gritty reality of Tudor life leaves one grimacing. 'Roots of betrayal lie in friendship, in treason loyalty,' indeed!

A NetGalley ARC

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