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Dark Fire (The Shardlake Series) Paperback – 18 May 2007

748 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 595 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Reprints edition (18 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330450786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330450782
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (748 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

C. J. Sansom was educated at Birmingham University, where he took a BA and then a PhD in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he retrained as a solicitor and practised in Sussex, until becoming a full-time writer. He lives in Sussex.


Product Description

Review

C. J. Sansomas highly atmospheric and well-crafted sixteenth-century thriller... vividly describes the turbidity of Tudor London. (Jasper Fforde)

Book Description

The second Shardlake novel in C. J. Sansom's remarkable historical crime series

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

250 of 255 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Craig HALL OF FAME on 20 Feb. 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having raced through DIssolution last weekened, I'm thrilled to discover Dark Fire, also featuring the hunchback Tudor lawyer Matthew Shardlake, just as compelling. Set three years after the events of the first novel, it has the honest barrister once again forced to work for Lord Cromwell - a man who still strikes terror into all, but who is on the verge of losing his power and his head thanks to his attempts to shore up Henry Vlll's dismal marriage to Anne of Cleves. Cromwell intervenes to allow a young girl, accused of murdering her cousin, two weeks' grace in order for Shardlake to track down the secret of "Greek Fire", a fearsome weapon believed to have been rediscovered by two alchemists, now brutally murdered. To assist him in this Shardlake not only has the enchanting Arab physician (now apothecary) and former monk, Brother Guy, but a Jewish man, Barak, loyal to Cromwell. Their difficult relationship and reluctant respect for each other form a most entertaining and thoughful part of a race against time to solve two murder cases. Once again, what is so captivating about this new star of historical fiction is the intelligence and compassion with which he writes. I highly recommend this to all who love really good detective fiction, historical fiction and an intelligent, literate novel that does not disdain a strong plot and characters.
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135 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Simon Parsons on 7 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
If you have even a passing interest in historical fiction, particularly Tudor London, and you enjoy a gripping mystery replete with twists, turns and colourful characters, you're likely to have a good time with this book. C.J. Sansom's Shardlake character is a little on the obvious side, with his pure heart and indefatigability overcoming the constraints of his flawed physical being (he's a hunchback lawyer in case you're wondering). Still, it's impossible not to become enthralled by this tale of political intrigue and murder with its adroit descriptions of the machinations of the nobility, corrupt lawyers and officials, and vivid portrayal of the sights and sounds of Tudor London. To my mind, one of the best compliments a book like this can have is that it makes you want buy the next one before you've even finished it, just to be able to delve straight back into Shardlake's world.
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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Kali on 29 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dark Fire is a well written if somewhat slow paced novel in parts that is the sequel to the equally good Dissolution.
Welcome to the 16th century world of the lawyer Mathew Shardlake, a hunchback who is a skilled scholar and a savvy Detective all rolled into one.
Dark Fire takes place a few years after Dissolution and sees him defending the niece of a friend who has been accused of murdering her 12 year old cousin Ralph.
With the case surely lost because the judge is eager to see the girl pressed for not pleading, Mathew gains time to help her through Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's Vice General who wants Mathew to do a job for him, a job that Mathew knows will not be easy or for that matter with dangers lurking in every corner.
In this book we are introduced to Barek, an insolent young commoner with some learning who on his father's side is descended from the ancient faith of Judea, in Dark Fire we watch the jaded Mathew and the shrewd Barek slowly form a grudging relationship, based on their abilities to use their brains together and come up with some startling answers to some frightening questions.
Dark Fire is actually two stories, who actually murdered the 12 year old boy and who has the formula to Greek Fire, an ancient weapon with modern ramifications.
With murders happening all over the place, a mad Grandmother hell bent on preserving her family honour, along with a power struggle between Thomas Cromwell and the Duke of Norfolk, and a whole heap of other exciting threads to bring together we have book filled with intrigues, dark secrets and even darker tragedies.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Hector 1970 on 21 Oct. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is another cracking little story from Sansom. I had really liked Dissolution the first book, I had enjoyed it immensely and was looking forward to this one.Dark Fire is a little gem. It has a great story very well tied into the Tudor times. Its full of the political intrigue of the era and life of the people.
Shardlakes detective work is excellent and its very well done they way the strand of Elizabeth is worked into the Dark Fire mystery. I hope we get at least another Shardlake Tale out of Sansom. I think Henry the VIII has two more wifes to go.
I'd highly recommend the book and Dissolution too if you come across it.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By C Leonard on 16 Aug. 2005
Format: Hardcover
At first sight I did not think I would like this book. Following a recommendation from a friend I decided to read it and am very glad I did. The author creates the sense of belonging to another age whilst conveying ruthlessness, evil behaviour, religious tension and more within the context of a gripping story of murder and intrigue. This book deserves to be up the charts and once it gets onto the radar of the avid reader I think this will be seen on many tubes and trains in the coming months.
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