In 1563, a person's religion can get him killed. William
Harley, known as Clarenceux, is a closet Catholic, but he
has a respected position as a herald, and he has powerful
friends close to the throne. He's as safe as a person of his
faith can be under rule of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth,
until an old friend brings him a manuscript. Henry Machyn
comes to Clarenceux afraid for his life and begging him to
keep and conceal his chronicle, a sort of diary listing
important events and observations. Machyn also gives
Clarenceux a code name, a date, and the name of one person
who understands what secret the chronicle holds. Then he
slips away into the night.
Within hours, Clarenceux is arrested, his home searched, his
young servant killed. He vows to discover the truth about
the plot concealed in the manuscript and to exact revenge
from those who have targeted his family in the name of the
SACRED TREASON is good on so many levels. It's an
edge-of-your-seat thriller, a mystery, a character study,
and a historical drama. James Forrester is a historian, an
expert in the Elizabethan era, and he seamlessly weaves fact
with fiction, blending in vivid descriptions of Tudor towns,
travel, and torture chambers along the way. It's never
explicit, but what we do learn about the horrors of what the
authorities do to their suspects is not for the squeamish.
The author's note at the end of the book gives insight into
how Forrester crafted the story around actual events and
documents. It's fascinating.
If you enjoy historical mysteries, stories of Tudor England,
or religious drama, I highly recommend SACRED TREASON.
In 1563, rumored Catholic plots against the young Queen
Elizabeth have left England in a state of fear and
suspicion. Surprisingly, the royal herald, Clarenceaux, has
managed to retain his respectability, despite his Catholic
lineage...until an unexpected visitor arrives on his
doorstep late one night. The visitor is desperate for him to
hide a manuscript that contains a secret so dangerous that
it puts their lives, and their country, at great risk. Will
Clarenceaux untangle the hidden meaning in the chronicle
before he and his family are exposed to mortal peril?