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The Roots of Betrayal (Clarenceux Trilogy 2) Hardcover – 7 Jul 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (7 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755356047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755356041
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 24.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 487,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Forrester is the fiction-writing name (the middle names) of the historian Dr Ian Mortimer - best known as the author of 'The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England' and its Elizabethan follow-up. The Clarenceux trilogy of novels - 'Sacred Treason', 'The Roots of Betrayal' and 'The Final Sacrament' are set in the period 1563-67. The series is named after their central character, William Harley, Clarenceux King of Arms, a herald in the College of Arms.

Ian-James lives with his wife and three children on the edge of Dartmoor. Find out more about his writing as James Forrester at www.jamesforrester.co.uk.

Product Description

Book Description

The brilliant new Elizabethan thriller from the highly acclaimed author of SACRED TREASON.

About the Author

James Forrester is a pen name for historian Dr Ian Mortimer. Dr Mortimer is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the author of four highly acclaimed medieval biographies. He is also the author of The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England which was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. He lives with his wife and three children on the edge of Dartmoor. For more information, visit www.jamesforrester.co.uk.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Max on 28 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The author's note at the end of this tale cautions the reader against considering The Roots of Betrayal an accurate historical novel. As the author is the well-respected historian Ian Mortimer writing under the pen-name James Forrester, we'd do well to listen to him. Roots of Betrayal is out-and-out fiction, and a great piece of fiction at that.

The tale follows William Harley, Clarenceux King of Arms, in the time of Queen Elizabeth I. Harley has possession of a secret document that would prove that Elizabeth I is illegitimate, and so should not be queen. The next in line for the throne is Mary Queen of Scots. The problem is Elizabeth I is Protestant, Mary Catholic. So if Elizabeth was shown to be illegitimate this would spark religious war in England. Harley, despite being a Catholic himself, does not want to see this religious war and so, when the document is stolen, Harley suspects the secret Catholic society the Knights of the Round Table, and sets off in pursuit. As he has been trusted to keep the document safe, his life depends on it.

As the novel weaves its course it includes wonderful descriptions of 16th century London and Southampton, including Calshot fort (which still stands), and some detailed and very convincing descriptions of the life and battles of a pirate, Carew.

We may take the author at his word that the book shouldn't been seen as an accurate depiction of life in Elizabethan England - nevertheless a particular highlight for me is the true-to-life portrayal of the nuances of the struggles over religion under her reign.

Walsingham, a famous historical figure, Member of Parliament and de facto head of Elizabeth's spy network, is rightly depicted as ruthless and spreading a climate of fear and suspicion about pro-Catholic activities.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
1564. Trouble ahead! Is Elizabeth illegitimate? A secret document claims so. Now it has gone missing, disaster guaranteed should Catholics supporting Mary Queen of Scots get their hands on it....

Cue for stirring adventures featuring William Harley (Clarenceux King of Arms), retrieving the document his top priority. Although a Catholic, no way does he wish the slaughter of Protestants. All around are spies and intrigue, it hard to know whom to trust. (A good rule of thumb - the higher they are, the more wary one should be.)

This is the follow-up to "Sacred Treason". It helps to have read it, but is not essential - I no doubt one of many newcomers very quickly engrossed. The author stresses the work is fiction but its setting certainly rings true - the wealth of well-researched detail immensely impressive.

By far the most colourful character is pirate Raw Carew - "Robin Hood of the Seas". (Why "Raw"? Best not to ask!) Although so violent, he proves in many ways surprisingly moral (killings excepted) with principles more worthy than those practised by several priests and politicians of the time. In fact, as the book progresses, the reader is likely to have a rethink about those who are proving most loyal.

Emphasis is very much on battles most bloody, tortures most horrible, soaring body counts. Some may feel the exploits of Harley and Carew more befitting those of Jack Bauer in "24". (Just how much punishment can a body take?) I was happy to cast such reservations aside and simply enjoy an exciting read. Be advised all is not as it seems. Prepare for twists as the tale nears its end.

Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By V. Nicholl VINE VOICE on 3 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Forrester is an historian in "real" life and he does a workmanlike job with this piece of fiction set during the reign of Elizabeth 1 as William Harley, Clarenceux King of Arms, searches for the woman who has stolen a document that could topple Protestant Elizabeth from the English throne and set Catholic Mary Queen of Scots on it. And then the persecution of Protestants would begin. Catholic though he is, Hartley doesn't want this and sets out to find the thief and the people who put her up to it. Along the way he comes into the hands of a pirate, Raw Carew, who is a magnet for women and adored by his crew and anyone else he comes across. Like a cat, he most certainly has at least nine lives and I suspect he was meant to be a foil for Hartley, who is a bit of a stuffed shirt, but to me he was just ridiculous. Death and torture abounded, but what should have been edge-of-the-seat exciting felt formulaic and plodding. CJ Sansom he ain't!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By grandadbob on 28 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While I enjoyed the first volume, this second part of the trilogy was disappointing and a little bit difficult to marine. The hero gets in and out of so many scrapes it is more like comic book superhero
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
This is the second in a trilogy of novels featuring William Harley, Clarenceux King of Arms. At the end of the first book, "Sacred Treason", Clarenceux found himself in possession of a document which could destroy the reign of Elizabeth I. Charged with protecting this document - a marriage agreement between Lord Percy and Anne Boleyn, which proves Elizabeth to be illegitimate with no right to the throne - by Lord Cecil, Clarenceux finds himself in a very difficult position. Walsingham still believes Clarenceux to be a traitor and the Catholic Conspirators, the so called Knights of the Round Table, are angry that he has not used the document to try to bring back a Catholic monarch to the throne.

Clarenceux wants to live in peace, but it seems that is unlikely to happen. Even his wife, Awdry, is pushing him to take a post as ambassador in Antwerp. However, even as he demands to be left alone and to put the past behind him, the worst happens. The document he is charged with protecting goes missing and it looks as though Rebecca Machin, who aided him in the first book, has stolen it. Before long, he is plunged again, unwillingly, into adventure - being drugged, tortured, captured, escaping, going on the run, captured by pirates and trying to discover the whereabouts of both Rebecca and the `Catholic Treasure'.

Whereas "Sacred Treason" was very much a complete novel in its own right, this is obviously part of a series. You really need to have read the first novel for this to make sense and it also feels that there is more to come. That is not to say it is not a good read. As a story, it is much more fast paced than the first book; with a great deal of adventure and excitement. It also makes you want to read on to find out what will happen in the last of the trilogy, "The Final Sacrament". There are some great new characters, including the daring pirate Raw Carew and his crew. An enjoyable book and I look forward to seeing what will happen next.
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