The Roots of Betrayal - James Forrester Title: The Roots of Betrayal

Series: Clarencaux Trilogy bk 2

Author: James Forrester

Genre: Historical Fiction

1564: Catholic herald William Harley, Clarenceaux King of Arms, is the custodian of a highly dangerous document. When it is stolen, Clarenceaux immediately suspects a group of Catholic sympathisers, the self-styled Knights of the Round Table.
Francis Walsingham, the ruthless protégé of the queen’s Principal Secretary, Sir William Cecil, intercepts a coded message from the Knights to a Countess known to have Catholic leanings. He is convinced that Clarenceaux is trying to use the document to advance the cause of the Catholic Queen.

And soon Clarenceaux enters a nightmare of suspicion, deception and conspiracy. Conflict and fear, compounded by the religious doubts of the time, conceal a persistent mystery. Where has the document gone? Who has it and who really took it? And why? The roots of betrayal are deep and shocking: and Clarenceaux’s journey towards the truth entails not just the discovery of clues and signs, but also the discovery of himself.

I have always loved history, and at one point I wanted to be a history professor and study this time period. My love of literature however far outweighed my love of history. But I’ve always enjoyed reading historicals whether there was a romance or not.

When I was asked to read Sacred Treason the first book in the series I leapt at the chance as I loved the theme behind the story. Knights of the Round Table, treason, love. When Sacred Treason ended I wondered what happens next. Especially between Clarenceaux and Rebecca as Clarenceaux was married.

As the next chapter in Clarenceaux story begins we are introduced to a new set of characters and get to revisit some from the first book. One of those new characters is Raw Carew and I have to be honest and say I fell more than a bit in love with him. He’s one of those characters where you want to him to achieve the goal he has before him, and then come back for you.

There are a lot of twists and turns in this book as Clarenceaux searches for the missing documents, is betrayed by those he thought he could trust and finds unlikely allies in places he would never have thought to go before. His feelings for Rebecca come to a resolution and it’s one that I’m glad happened the way it did.

I will tell you this when it’s revealed who took the documents you will be surprised as it was the last person I thought it would be, and yet as they tell him why they did it it made perfect sense to me.

If you love history, especially this time period this is one series you won’t want to miss, I know I’m glad I didn’t.

Grade A

Review By: Heather

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