The Jesuit Letter (The Tyburn Folios Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 376 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
' Perhaps a little sluggish to get into gear through the first pages, do read on for the story soon heats up with twists, turns, a touch of humour, romance, and the riddle of the most important part of the plot, the matter of a murder… '
The mystery and action that begin right in the prologue never lets up in this quick-paced story. Our unfortunately named Tyburn first appears to be little more than the stereotypical player, drinking or gambling away his wages, but the deeper truths about him are not completely revealed until much later. He finds himself wrapped up in a plot that is rooted in the religious battles of the 16th century. Tyburn, comfortable not choosing sides in the Protestant versus Catholic debate, finds that he must decide where he stands if lives are to be saved.
I enjoyed the fact that this story revealed much of the lifestyles of the times without focusing on Queen Elizabeth herself. The 16th century is a fascinating era, but I do not enjoy reading about the revered & supposedly virgin queen, so this book was right up my alley. The author demonstrates thorough knowledge of his chosen setting with historical tidbits and slang sprinkled throughout the novel. I may be one of the few readers who would have appreciated fewer footnotes, but I loved the authenticity.
Those who know my reading habits will not be surprised that the romance portion of this novel was not my favorite element, but I did enjoy how it was used to develop Tyburn's character. The boy meets girl aspect of the book was second to many other relationships and events, including manipulation, betrayal, murder, spies, secret priests, hidden pasts, and so much more.
There is no need for me to point out that this novel also has a stunning cover. That is what first attracted me to it, and I am glad that I picked it up. I look forward to more from this author.
Hamilton has spun a great yarn, with twists, turns, and lots of history, all accurate as far as I can tell. His characters are well-drawn and engaging; his plot is believable, with unpredictable twist and turns; and his descriptions so vivid your mind’s eye can see the story unwinding in the Warwickshire countryside.
The Elizabethan vocabulary and phrasing were well done, and I appreciated the excellent notes, even after years as a Shakespeare fan. I also learned a lot more than I suspected I would about intrigues of the time.
Will Shakespeare as a schoolboy reminiscent of Tom Sawyer was especially delightful; Hamilton’s details of Shakespeare mesh well with what can be reasonably inferred about his life, times, and possible early dramatic influences.
I did find that some of the rougher character’s oaths and dialogue were perhaps more crude, rather than colorful and imaginative, than need be. On the other hand, I appreciated that, although death abounds and the Elizabethans were not prudes, the descriptions of the gore, violence, and sex were restrained enough not to distract from the overall work.
In summary, The Jesuit Letter is an enjoyable, PG-13 sort of book, with lots of swashbuckling adventure, intrigue, and thrills.
I look forward to enjoying the further adventures of Christopher Tyburn.
Full disclosure - I received free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
In the interests of full disclosure, I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.