In Elizabethan England, where a person’s religious faith could cost them their lives, a suspected plot to overthrow the Queen and replace her with the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots overshadows everything.
John Shakespeare, our protagonist, is sent on Queens’s duty to discover the source of this plot. His mission leads him to his home county of Warwickshire, where he finds himself amidst murder, conspiracies and suspicions pointed towards members of his own family.
This is the sixth book in the Shakespeare series and after reading this; I am desperate to read the others.
After a slow burning start, I became hooked by the twists and turns. I was engrossed by what would happen to John; how would he solve the plot when his brother Will (yes, Will Shakespeare), was implicated. John has to face a difficult question; is he really the ‘Queens Man’? Or will his loyalty to his family override his loyalty to queen and country?
Clements has the ability to make you really care for the characters and loathe the villains of the piece. He is also apt at bringing to life the confusion of living in a time of fear; of when not going to church could see you being labelled a traitor and being a catholic meant your home being ransacked in the middle of the night.
The story gives you a real insight into the life and times of the Tudors and enough well researched history to educate both Tudor novice and seasoned expert. I particularly liked the historical notes at the end, which not only explained some of the central characters real life roles in history but also gave insight and information into an intriguing conspiracy theory, which really turns the cogs of your mind!
Definitely recommended reading for any Tudor fan, especially those interested in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; when many of her subjects didn’t really want her on the throne and spoke of her as the usurper. It will also appeal to those interested in Mary Queen of Scots and her long years imprisoned before eventually going to the Tower. And of course, those who love a good read which has plenty of plot twists.