Day of the Serpent, The
by Cassandra Clark
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Pub Date 02 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 30 Nov 2021
Canongate Books, Severn House
January, 1400. The bowman strikes at night, slaying one of King Henry’s loyal garrison men before melting back into the darkness. Was the murder the result of a personal quarrel? Or is it, as Henry’s stepbrother, Swynford, fears, the start of an uprising against England’s self-crowned king? Swynford orders Brother Chandler to investigate, before the spark of rebellion can set the whole country alight.
Friar, reluctant sleuth, and even more reluctant spy, Brother Chandler is a man with dark secrets and divided loyalties. To the murdered King Richard. To his paymaster, the usurper King Henry. And to beautiful, naïve Mattie, a maid in the household of heretical poet Geoffrey Chaucer, who holds dangerous secrets of her own.
Trusted by no one, Chandler must walk a tightrope of secrets and lies if he is to uncover the truth about the murder, while ensuring he – and the few people he cares about – stay alive.
Combining rich historical detail with deep characterisations and enthralling mystery, this medieval puzzler is a perfect choice for fans of sleuthing monks and nuns like Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael and Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma.
A Note From the Publisher
Average rating from 27 members
A rollicking and truculent fictional journey set at the dawn of one of England's most turbulent & violent centuries, it centers mostly around the shady power grab orchestrated by the usurper-king Henry IV and the murder of his cousin and royal predecessor Richard II. This second installment in the series is dark, menacing and very violent and I enjoyed it more as a powerful piece of historical fiction than a gripping murder mystery. Its political shenanigans and the religious mayhem against the Lollards are brilliantly depicted and the unforgettable cast of characters is very strong.
It might actually be more judicious to read this series in chronological order in order to get a better perspective on the plot. The language is brillant & the unrelenting action fiendishly good.
I simply can't wait for the next episode!
Many thanks to Netgalley and Canongate/Severn for this terrific ARC
1400 To the backdrop of the removal of Richard II as the rightful king and the replacement of the usurper Henry II, and his quelling of a rebellion. Brother Rodric Chandler accompanies the body of Richard back to Westminster from Pontefract Castle. On the journey men start being killed, shot by an arrow. Sir Thomas Swynford King Henry‘s stepbrother instructs Chandler to find the guilty party, but life is made more dangerous with the introduction of the new heresy laws.
An entertaining, slow-paced, and well-written historical mystery with its cast of likeable characters. Which can easily be read as a standalone story. A good addition to the series.
An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This was quite an intriguing and interesting story overall. While the murder part wasn’t quite of my liking, the history one was interesting to see how the author will depict it and how the characters are fleshed out so real .
Very grateful to the publisher for my review copy
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