Rory Clements
book reviews:
· general fiction
· chick lit/romance
· sci-fi/fantasy
· graphic novels
· nonfiction
· audio books

Click here for the RSS Feed

· author interviews
· children's books @
· DVD reviews @

win books
buy online


for authors
& publishers

for reviewers

click here to learn more

Buy *Revenger: A Novel of Tudor Intrigue* by Rory Clements online

Revenger: A Novel of Tudor Intrigue
Rory Clements
448 pages
June 2011
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

buy this book now or browse millions of other great products at
previous reviewnext review

Filled with an exciting sense of urgency, Clements’ fascinating mystery tackles a deep-seated Elizabethan riddle: the unsolved tragedy of the Roanoke colonists and how lives in the infernal wheel of the Tudor Age were touched in terrible ways. Queen Elizabeth is merely a bit-player in the unfolding drama; at the heart of the story is the corruption of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, one of the greatest ruling men of England.

Devereux’s morbid hot-and-cold affair with an aging Queen is the stuff of historical legend. Clements focuses on the critical period in Devereux’s life when his lust for power was stoked up by his Machiavellian friends and by Penelope Rich, his ambitious sister who pushed him towards rebellion and into a sham marriage with young Arbella Stuart, considered the only serious clamant to the throne of England.

Through the perspective of Master John Shakespeare, we delve deep into Essex’s fevered air of treachery. John is summoned to Essex. Famed throughout the land as the Queen’s most favored courtier, the gallant, handsome courtier seeks advice from Shakespeare, having just received the message that somewhere out there walking the streets of London is Eleanor Dare, one of the lost Roanoke colonists. Dare is of great interest on all accounts--most pointedly because she is the mother of the first English baby born in the New World.

Clearly there’s dirty work stirring. John is helplessly attracted to the machinations of magnificent Essex, and Essex is certain John is the right kind of man to find this woman. The perfect “intelligencer,” John is used to digging to find bright red rubies of betrayal. Rumor has it that Dare was spotted outside a theatre in Southwark, reportedly dressed as a strumpet and touting for business.

Assailed by a whirlwind and filled with misgivings, John has little choice but to follow the intelligencer’s art. But he is also caught in the complex enmity that exists between Catholics and Protestants. John’s wife, Catherine--a committed Papist--finds herself in danger in a landscape where Catholics are regarded by Queen and her Privy Council as an “irritant thorn” to be plucked from their flesh at all costs. Meanwhile, King Philip of Spain watches closely for signs of weakness as England seethes with speculation about the succession.

London’s fragrant summer flowers and herbs do little to counter the overpowering stench of dung and slop. A contagion of fear echoes as a Jesuit priest is tortured in Southwell and John’s school for boys is rumored to be a spawning ground for papist traitors. From an unsolved crime of passion to plots, spying, poisonings, and threat of the plague, John races to protect his beloved brother, William. He also has little choice but to stop the open defiance of Lord Essex and his grand ambitions.

Mining these willful battles for blood royal, Clements is right at home in his gritty exploration of Tudor England. From opulent Shrewsbury House, where Lettice and her daughters cast their spells in favor of Essex’s marriage to Arbella, Clements unfolds a country thrown into chaos by an irresponsible family while John is caught in the middle, his sense of loyalty his only guide.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Michael Leonard, 2011

buy *Revenger: A Novel of Tudor Intrigue* online
click here for more info
Click here to learn more about this month's sponsor!

fiction · sf/f · comic books · nonfiction · audio
newsletter · free book contest · buy books online
review index · links · · authors & publishers

site by ELBO Computing Resources, Inc.