- Publisher: Pan Books
- Format: Paperback | 672 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 44mm | 458g
- Publication date: 1 March 2007
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0330436082
- ISBN 13: 9780330436083
- Edition: Unabridged
- Edition statement: Reprints
- Sales rank: 2,545
Autumn, 1541. King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to attend an extravagant submission of his rebellious subjects in York. Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as assisting with legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a special mission - to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator being returned to London for interrogation. But the murder of a local glazier involves Shardlake in deeper mysteries, connected not only to the prisoner in York Castle but to the royal family itself. And when Shardlake and Barak stumble upon a cache of secret papers which could threaten the Tudor throne, a chain of events unfolds that will lead Shardlake facing the most terrifying fate of the age ...'Sansom is a master storyteller' Guardian 'So compulsive that, until you reach its final page, you'll have to be almost physically prised away from it' Sunday Times 'Deeper, stronger and subtler than The Name of the Rose' Independent on Sunday
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C. J. Sansom was educated at Birmingham University, where he took a BA and then a Ph.D. in history. After practising as a solicitor, he became a full-time writer. Sovereign is the third novel in Sansom's acclaimed Shardlake series, following Dissolution and Dark Fire . He lives in Sussex.
By Penny Cunningham 11 Jul 2011
I think that this is my favourite book in the series to date. It is wonderful in the richness of it historical detail and discriptions of York (a place I visited recently, so it was good to see things in my minds eye!)
It gives a good account of Henry VIII "progress" to the city with Queen Catherine (Howard) just before she was disgraced and eventually beheaded on Henry's orders.
As usual there is a subplot going on with conspiritors trying to discredit Henry's right to the throne, from a long ago admission that Henry was actually the grandson of an archer of the kings household who had a dalliance with Cecilly Neville, wife of the duke of York and mother of Edward VI and Richard III.
Matthew Shardlake is once again sent on a mission he does not want for Cranmer to keep alive a traitor, so that he will be well enough for the torture he will have to endure in the tower. Only for Matthew to end up in the tower himself on a trumped up charge of one of his fellow lawyers, in a grudge for not drooping a case!
I just loved this book, twists and turns with every turn of the page. It had you guessing right to the end
By Esther Cohen 29 Sep 2010
I think I'm a little in love with Matthew Shardlake, and possibly CJ Sansom. In yet another ripping yarn, this delves further into life with Good King Henry 8th and his truly medieval Britain. The text is palpable with the horror of the age, and of Catherine Parr as she is targeted as the King's next wife/victim. Evoking such images of life in London with brilliance and plots with intricate twists and turns. You care about all the characters, and can't turn the pages fast enough to find out what happens to them. A word of warning, don't take this book on holiday, you will never leave your hotel room.
aWhen historical fiction clicks, thereas nothing more gripping . . . and C.J. Sansomas fantastic "Sovereign" left me positively baying for more. Itas that good. . . . Rebellion, plots, torture, fanaticism, a murder mystery and a real historical scandal come alive in this deeply satisfying novel.a aDeirdre Donahue, "USA Today" aAuthors of the caliber of P. D. James, Ruth Rendell, Ian Rankin, and Minette Walters remain rare. C. J. Sansomas Sovereign . . . deserves as wide a readership as any of the above. . . . Itas deeper, stronger, and subtler than most novels in the genre.a a"The Sunday Independent" (London)