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The Tournament Paperback – 17 Jul 2014

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Paperback, 17 Jul 2014

Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (17 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409147193
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409147190
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 2.7 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,595,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matthew Reilly wrote his first book, Contest, in 1994 whilst attending the University of New South Wales. It was rejected by every major publishing company.

This caused Reilly to self-publish 1,000 copies using money borrowed from his family.

Reilly went to a bookstore in Sydney and asked if he could place the copies on one of their book shelves. They accepted the offer. Very shortly after, the books had sold out and the owner of the bookstore called Reilly to order more books.

One copy was read by Pan Macmillan, who immediately signed Reilly up to write Ice Station, which became an international bestseller.

Since then, he has been published in over fifteen countries, including Norway, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, South Africa, Japan and China.

Reilly's main influences include Michael Crichton, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and possibly Art Bell.

Product Description

Book Description

From global superstar Matthew Reilly comes a gripping historical thriller; a tale of murder, passion and intrigue set in the majestic city of Constantinople.

About the Author

Matthew Reilly is an internationally bestselling author. His novels include Contest, Temple, Ice Station, Area 7, Scarecrow, Hover Car Racer, Seven Ancient Wonders, The Six Sacred Stones, The Five Greatest Warriors, Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves and his latest Sunday Times bestseller The Tournament. Matthew's books are published in over twenty languages and have sold nearly four million copies worldwide. In addition, Walt Disney Pictures have optioned the movie rights to his children's book, Hover Car Racer, while Ice Station was optioned by Paramount Pictures. Matthew lives in New South Wales, Australia. To find out more visit

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By EleanorB TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 Feb. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to this book. The idea of a young Princess Elizabeth Tudor heading East for a life changing, and character forming, expedition in the company of her teacher, the fine Roger Ascham is an interesting one, no doubt about that. However, the author has chosen not to write the book that could have evolved from this premise, but has opted for a strange and somewhat repellent mix of a Poirotesque Ascham leading young Bess into a maelstrom of murder, sexual deviance, straightforward pornography, and risk of assassination.

The unlikely cast of characters attending the Sultan's international chess tournament includes Michaelangelo and Ivan (the soon-to-be-Terrible) along with corrupt cardinals from Rome and the famous Sultana, Roxelana. All these and more are mired in conspiracies, vice and revenge, in an atmosphere of religious hatred, zero morality of any kind, misogyny, cod psychology of the most superficial type, and match fixing on a deadly scale.

My feeling, halfway through, was "Yeah Right". Bess herself is written as a mere cypher who is loaded (in true tick box fashion) with life lessons which will inform her future career as England's famous Virgin Queen. The introduction of her companion, the lovely airhead Elsie, is a transparent and unbelievable plot device and Ascham's character is so cartoonish as to be laughable. I cannot honestly recommend this book to anyone.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Phil h on 22 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm a bit dumbfounded by this book. Like a lot of the other reviewers I liked the earlier books but this is an odd hybrid of lots of styles, none of which are very interesting. A child's murder mystery and some minimally written erotica. It's like Matthew Reilly didn't write it. I didn't enjoy this at all and hope Matthew returns to his scarecrow series ASAP
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By travelswithadiplomat on 24 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Given over 80% of the reviews on here are 4 or 5 stars I found myself reconsidering my opinion very closely before sticking with my original 2-star reaction to it.
I have really enjoyed Matthew Reilly's novels in the past few years: his over-the-top mix of adventure, action, one-liners, one-dimensional is a brilliant formula for anyone with a few boring hours to while away on a plane, train or "other" long journey. The novels always reminded me of Schwarzenegger in "Commando", a film which made Hollywood realise that action heroes really, really need to reload their weapons to give some idea of plausibility. Reilly's book possessed the same enjoyable, ridiculous escapes from death by the most ludicrous means possible. A reader suspended belief entirely to enjoy them...and enjoy them we did.
So, it was with enthusiasm I downloaded this, expecting more of the same with a vaguely historical setting. As I read it, my dismay deepened, my expectations were rudely kicked aside. I found a young Princess Elizabeth Tudor gallivanting off to Constantinople with her teacher, Roger Ascham, and her promiscuous playmate, Elsie. All to solve some mysteries so transparent they were almost insulting to the sleuthing genre.
Despite Mr Reilly's attempts to justify his subject matter in his Q & A at the end of the book, the focus on badly written pornographic sex scenes; the need to make the girls involved in these scenes so young it was, frankly, disturbing; the overall depiction of women - as a means of explaining the later character of Queen Elizabeth I - horrendous to the point of misogyny: all these and more made the book very difficult to swallow.
I also found the pseudo-social commentary on religions and governance shoddy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kate TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Matthew Reilly is one of my favourite writers of thrillers. He is a master of explosive military adventures and I've been glued to the Scarecrow series in particular for years, re-reading several of them. When I heard that Reilly was shifting his focus to tackle historical fiction, I wasn't just worried, I was also disappointed. But, knowing so well how good a storyteller Matthew Reilly is, I thought I'd give it a go. I bought it on the day it came out (actually, the minute it came out, this is how much I look forward to Reilly novels) and dived in.

This might be a novel about a chess tournament but the chess that matters here is more about how kings, queens, knights, cardinals, priests and pawns manipulate each other - and are manipulated - in the court of the Sultan. The comparison is none too subtle, with chapter headings and extracts from chess manuals directing our attention to different players in the plot.

The Tournament is a novel that caused me a great deal of conflict but first I'll tell you what I liked about it. Reilly is a fine thriller writer and The Tournament is no exception. It is extremely easy to devour and it is compelling. The pages race through the fingers. If it hadn't have been for work, I'd have read it in just the one day rather than the two it took. The murder mystery is exciting and gruesome and there is a whole cast of suspects for Ascham and Elizabeth to choose from. The solution is also satisfying. The Sultan's court is quite bewitching in its description. The character of Suleiman is also very intriguing, as is that of his queen. You can almost smell the heady scents of perfume and spices while marvelling at the silks and gemstones.
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