Tombland by C J Sansom

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Another great Shardlake novel.

Matthew Shardlake- a hunchback lawyer who believes in social justice and the side of the underdog. In C J Sansom’s latest novel, the story revolves around the peasant rebellions of 1549.

Shardlake is working for Lady Elizabeth daughter of the late Henry VIII to investigate the murder of a distant relative.

It is a great book, although at over 800 pages a big read! Totally worth it. It is historical fiction at its best.

This long awaited novel is the latest in the Shardlake series. Shardlake is a lawyer who practises in the difficult and violent Reformation times of the Tudors.

It is in Norfolk that the peasants uprising named Ketts Rebellion took place during the time of the underage Edward V1 and his uncle the protector Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset.

Shardlake, at the request of the teenage Princess Elizabeth, undertakes to discover the fate of her distant relation, Edith Boleyn, in Norfolk. Whilst there Shardlake gets drawn into the uprising in East Anglia of peasants and yeomen against the major landowners who were intent on enclosing common lands, thus causing enormous suffering for the ordinary man.

Shardlake is a man of liberal principles who treads a narrow path between the practice of the law, his loyalty to Princess Elizabeth and his innate kindness and feelings for his fellow man.

C J Sansom weaves several themes throughout Tombland and is a historically accurate account of Ketts Rebellion. Tombland is an actual area in Norwich and still exists near the Cathedral. The novel is a page turner and although the length of the book might seem daunting at first it is in actual fact an enthralling and easy read. It can be thoroughly recommended.

Having read the previous six Shardlake books, I was delighted to be asked to review the seventh book in the series, Tombland.

The book opens with Lawyer, Mathew Shardlake being asked by the Lady Elizabeth (who goes on to become Queen Elizabeth 1) to investigate the murder of her distant relative, Edith Boleyn. Shardlake and his companions head off to Norwich to begin the investigation and as his work gets underway, Shardlake becomes embroiled in the Kett Rebellion that took place in Norfolk in 1549. To find out what happens next, dear reader, you will have to read the book.

Despite being over 800 pages long, the thoroughly enjoyable story holds you during the twists and turns of the summer months of 1549. It is also worth reading through the Appendices to get a picture of the life and times of people during the reign of King Edward.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and hope that in due course, there will be an eighth book in the Shardlake series.

I am half way through this book and I am really enjoying it. It is packed full of action and historical detail which really brings the period to life. I feel as though I am there in amongst the action.

Every page contains detail but every detail is relevant and not just for padding.

I have read the other books in this series and enjoyed them all; this latest novel certainly does not disappoint.