Member Review

The Reversible Mask

Pub Date:

Review by

Joanne W, Reviewer

Last updated on 06 Aug 2019

My Recommendation

I finished it! Yay me!!!!

Let me first say that my tardiness in finishing it is entirely down to me, and not in any way the fault of the book or author.

This is the story of Sir Edward Latham, catholic courtier to Elizabeth I when the story opens. He soon finds himself in a quandary as to whether he is comfortable hiding his faith to keep up his position or should stand up for catholicism. In the event he decides to do neither and hops the border to Scotland, where his friend Darnley is, if not King, then certainly King-ish, having married Mary, Queen of Scots, that famous historical idiot, though my opinion may be controversial (don't care if it is, I think she was an idiot!).

I think we all know how that particular marriage turned out, so Edward soon finds himself working as a spy in Europe, attempting to help Mary regain her throne while spying for the catholic governments of Europe against the emerging Protestant nations.

His travels take him from Scotland to Spain, France, Italy, the early Netherlands, fighting to free themselves from Spanish rule, and even Constantinople. Along the way his views are put to the test and he is forced to look carefully at his position, especially as his family still live in England under Protestant rule. Will be remain a spy for the Catholics or risk his life returning to England? I won't give that one away, go to Amazon or wherever, get your own copy and enjoy!

I'm not at all sure about the title - somehow the word 'reversible' feels modern to me. I have no doubt it was used at the time, it just feels wrong somehow. That apart, it's a nicely written book from an unusual perspective (especially as the hero is bisexual), and clips along at a good pace. You do occasionally feel like he needs a slap, but I think that is intentional. The sense of time and place is excellent, even for a fusspot like me! I look forward to more from this author.

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