Friday, September 9, 2011

Revenger: A novel of Tudor Intrigue

I've been a little MIA lately as far as this blog goes, even though I'm still not sure if many people read it. I had a few books I was reading but stopped either halfway or 3/4 of the way through because it got boring. I'm not sure still if I'll finish them and blog about them. Not every book I read is a winner, or that interesting. I try to be honest in my book reviews, but being a historical novel fanatic such as myself makes it so I take greater interest in those kinds of books anyways. My sister suggested blogging about other books to get more of a variety, but I tend to stick to the historical genre. Sorry to disappoint; until something interesting comes along I'll stick to what I know and love.

Revenger was an interesting book, I found it at the library on one of those hot picks tables. I believe this book is a 2nd in a series, but I didn't know that when I picked it up. In this book you follow John Shakespeare, a chief intelligencer and schoolmaster, as he works for both Sir Robert Cecil and the Earl of Essex. He is working both sides, so of course there is danger fraught on both sides. He strives mostly to serve the Queen Elizabeth by keeping her throne and her person safe. At the same time, he tries to appear loyal to the Earl of Essex, who is the Queen's favorite. While dabbling in his works in both worlds, he comes to face some dangerous foes. His wife Catherine is Catholic and protects those who would be called heretics and could bring danger or death to the family in so doing. John is a Protestant, and so they often butt heads because of their differences in religion. John Shakespeare owns a school, and has a daughter Mary. He soon finds himself back in the life of intelligencer with murder, spies, poison and secrets as the order of the day.

With a plague devastating the country and Catholics facing extreme persecution, martyrdom and torture, John tries to keep his wife and daughter safe even though he is not often at home. He sends them away to her parents home to keep her safe while he pursues his work. There was a man named Roanoke, who had founded a colony in North America of women, men and children. All but 1 were killed either by the savage Indians on the land, or because of sickness from bad food or water. There are rumors that one, a Eleanor Dare had survived and was back in London. The Earl of Essex charged John with finding her. As he works to unravel that mystery, using the help of some of his trusted workers, he also becomes intangled in the Earl of Essex's plot to marry Arbella and become King after Queen Elizabeth has died. Arbella had Tudor blood in her as she was a great granddaughter of Mary Boleyn, who had had an affair with King Henry back in the day. As John works hastily to stop this marriage from happening, and keep his family safe, and discover the whereabouts of this Eleanor Dare, he finds himself almost killed himself a few times.

He works also to bring McGunn to justice, after finding out that in working for the Earl of Essex, he himself is a most brutal and viscious murderer. The book is exciting, full of plots and turns and danger. There are scences of torture and brutality which I just skipped over. A few brief references to sexual matters that can be skipped over as well. I won't revel the ending, but I enjoyed the book and will probably read the Martyr which came before this book.

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