A Novel of Tudor Intrigue
By Rory Clements
(Bantam, Hardcover, 9780385342841, 448pp.)
Publication Date: June 21, 2011
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In his critically acclaimed debut thriller, Martyr, Rory Clements introduced readers to the unforgettable John Shakespeare, chief intelligencer to Queen Elizabeth I and older brother to Will.
Now, five years later, the Queen needs Shakespeare’s services once more. Not only is England still at war with Spain, but her court is riven by savage infighting among ambitious young courtiers.
Shakespeare is summoned by Elizabeth’s cold but deadly Privy Councillor Sir Robert Cecil and ordered to undertake two linked missions: to investigate the mystery of the doomed Roanoke colony in North America—Sir Walter Ralegh’s folly—and to spy on Cecil’s rival, the dashing Earl of Essex.
Essex is the brightest star in the firmament, the Queen’s favorite. But when Shakespeare enters Essex’s dissolute world, he discovers not only that the Queen herself is in danger, but that he and his family are also targets. With a plague devastating the country, Catholics facing persecution and martyrdom at the hands of an infamous torturer, and John’s own wife, Catherine, possibly protecting a priest—Shakespeare has his own survival to secure, as well as that of his fading but still feisty Queen.
Filled with the flavor and facts of a tumultuous time in English history, Revenger is a stunning novel of savage rivalries and reprisals from an author swiftly becoming a known master of historical suspense.
After a career in national newspapers, Rory Clements now lives in a seventeenth-century farmhouse in Norfolk, England, and writes full-time. When not immersing himself in the Elizabethan world, he enjoys village life and a game of tennis with friends. He is married to the artist Naomi Clements-Wright.
Advanced Praise for Revenger
“Set in Elizabethan England, Clements's sequel to his debut, Martyr, raises him to the top rank of historical thriller writers….Clements presents an intricate web of plots and subplots while vividly evoking the tenor of the times. Shakespeare makes a fascinating lead, perfectly suited to sustain what one hopes will be a long series.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Rich with period detail, Revenger is a gripping tale of Elizabethan intrigue that brings Tudor England thrillingly to life.
Revenger is equal parts history and mystery and wholly enthralling.”
—Deanna Raybourn, author of The Dark Enquiry
“An enthralling tale of treason, espionage, and mystery….With a deft hand an eye for detail, Mr. Clements sweeps us from London’s squalid back alleys to its
palatial noble mansions during the waning days of Elizabeth I’s reign. Crackling with suspense, Shakespeare’s latest adventure has
enough twists and turns to keep you reading long into the night.”
—C.W. Gortner, author of The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
“Out of the rough straw of Elizabethan history, Rory Clements has spun entertainment gold.”
—G.J. Meyers, author of The Tudors
“A historical thriller to send a shiver down your spine….Energy, élan, a fine ear for dialogue and a grasp for the intrigues of
Queen Elizabeth I’s court….I could not tear myself away, it is that good.”
“A historical thriller to send a shiver down your spine.”—Daily Mail (U.K.)
Praise for Rory Clements’s Martyr
“[An] engrossing thriller.”—The Washington Post
“A world spiced with delicious characters . . . Clements seasons it with romance and humour.”—The Mail on Sunday (U.K.)
“Beautifully done . . . alive and tremendously engrossing.”—The Daily Telegraph (U.K.)
“[An] excellent debut . . . The characters, action and period detail are all solid.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)