From the inside cover: In the Tudor Court of 1518, your friends and enemies can be one and the same…During the annual celebration of the Order of the Garter, Sir Michael Devereaux arrives in King Henry VIII’s court on a mission for his benefactor. The celebration’s endless feats and sumptuous women delight the charismatic newcomer, who becomes captivated by the enigmatic Princess Renee of France. But evil, it seems, has followed Michael to the court. Shortly after his arrival, an unknown killer claims several victims, including the Queen’s lady-in-waiting, and the powerful Cardinal Wolsey asks Michael to help with the investigation. As he searches for the killer, Michael is haunted by disturbing images of the victims – flashes of violence that lead him to doubt his own sanity. Michael soon realizes that the key to solving the crime is connected to both the Pope’s Imperial vault in Rome and a mystery from Michael’s own past – revealing a secret that is so damning, it could forever alter the future of mankind.
Warning: There is a spoiler ahead!
It’s been a long time since I read historical fiction from the English Tudor period. When I read the above summary I thought this would be a good book to remedy that fact. From the very first page I felt I was in that era – on the jousting field and in the various areas of the court. The description of the rooms helped me understand what the place looked like. The description of the clothing worn was a plus.
I liked the two main characters, Michael and Renee. The author spent plenty of time on each one of them so I felt I knew them. Each one has their own agenda in coming to Greenwich Palace (outside London) and the reader does not know the exact details.
For lovers of the time period and this genre you will love the court intrigue and all the historical facts. There is romance and mystery alike. There is a duel over Renee’s honor, there is a tournament among the knights and challengers, Renee is sent poetry by a secret admirer and the repartee between the characters is fun.
I was thoroughly enjoying the story when, about two hundred pages in, something strange happened to Michael as he was attempting to thwart an attempt on King Henry’s life. I let it go, thinking it was adreniline surging through his body. But in the next few chapters other things happened and by the end of Chapter 16, Renee discovers that Michael is a vampire.
A vampire? I had no idea that this was that type of book, although my husband said I should have known by the title. I don’t like vampire books. I’ve avoided all the paranormal stuff. Since I’m a curious person I finished the book just to see how things would resolve themselves. But I couldn’t help feeling disappointed.
Plenty of people are going to love this book. If you love historical fiction of this period and don’t mind the vampire thing, this book is for you. It is extremely well researched. If you missed my post from yesterday where the author talks about her research methods, just scroll on down. I have one more thing to share. There is a fantastic trailer for his book on YouTube. Click HERE.