Friday, September 4, 2015

Lamentation by C.J. Sansom

Despite the fact that I don't read that much historical fiction, I felt compelled to borrow this book when I saw it at the library. And thankfully, my bookish instincts did not lead me astray - this book was fantastic, and luckily for me, the library has all the previous books in the series!

So Lamentations is 6th book in the William Shardlake series (I think, according to the covers at the back of the book). William Shardlake is a lawyer, but for some reason, he's always been called to help the great personages of the realm. In this case, it's Queen Catherine, the last wife of Henry VIII. She lost a book she penned, which was shortened to Lamentations in the story (hence the title). This book could, if found and given to the king, could hurt the reformist cause (the Protestants). Since he really likes the Queen (although she doesn't feel the same way), and he was in the Protestant camp in the past, he agrees to help. And thus starts a long and captivating tale of intrigue.

For me, the details and characters in the book were what held my attention. I managed to read the book for long-stretches of time, like a plane ride to Tokyo, and every time I looked up from the book, I felt a bit surprised that I wasn't in olden-time England (good thing though, because it doesn't sound like a nice place to live).

The book had twist after twist. I definitely did not expect the ending, but it felt very plausible to it. And speaking of endings, I thought it brought the current case to a close, but also made me want to read the next book. And the previous books. It's strange, but I want to go back to this world, even though it's full of people who must live tiring lives, always having to plot and backstab and read the wind.

I loved the details in the book, and found the characters to be very realistic. Even though I entered the series halfway, I didn't have any problems connecting to the characters, and look forward to reading more books about them.

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