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The Shardlake Series

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So far I've read his last Shardlake, Revelation, and am now half way through Dissolution, his first.

 

Do you think all four are equally good or that certain ones have the edge?

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I enjoyed reading Revelation - I liked the plot, it was interesting to read about medieval serial killer! Also, I enjoyed detailed descriptions of medieval London - its habitants and their everyday lives. As for Dissolution, it was a good start of the series, again with the convincing plot, but Matthew Shardlake's sidekick - Mark, was a weak part. I prefer Barak, he is more convincing and interesting character. I also liked Sovereign, which moved our characters from London to York, but Dark Fire was my least favourite novel. It doesn't mean I didn't like it though!

I hope CJ Sansom will write continue this hugely popular series!

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I don't think so...

Personally, I always read books in order of publishing, because I like to see the life of the main character changing, but I AM a nerd.... :)

Each of them tells the separate story and previous developments are usually mentioned.

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I think I have read a couple of his novels: Dissolution and Dark Fire. They were surprisingly enjoyable and quick reads but not my normal cup of tea so after Dark Fire I stopped with them.

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I enjoyed Dark Fire, the only one I have read. I was working near Southwark Bridge at the time, which made the story seem more real. I remember feeling that the plot was a little far-fetched (I like to keep my sci-fi separate from my history!).

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I thought Dissolution was great (although the ending was slightly weak...) and have Sovereign and Dark Fire lined up to be read 'soon'. I like to read a series in order and I'm always delighted to stumble upon a new series to embark upon!

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I enjoyed reading Revelation - I liked the plot, it was interesting to read about medieval serial killer! Also, I enjoyed detailed descriptions of medieval London - its habitants and their everyday lives.

 

Yes, Dabarai - your point about the detailed descriptions of medieval life in London gave it, for me, the edge on his first book (Dissolution). It had more pace too.

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I've just finished Dark Fire (the second in the series) and thought it was fantastic. I agree that the fiestier sidekick helps flesh out the story. It was pacy and complicated without being hard to follow. The setting and history added extra interest. You can't go wrong with Henry VIII!

 

No doubt I'll be reading the third one soon, but I'll wait for the paperback of the fourth.

 

One criticism: I'm quite gentle on books, but this one fell apart in my hands. It's quite a large paperback, so impossible for me to read without cracking the spine. This resulted in the last part of the book falling out! Not something which has happened to me before.

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I'm having to force my way through Sovereign. The problem may be that MOH reserved Sansom's books after reading the first one and it may have been too much of a good thing to read three of his on the trot (haven't got Dark Fire yet).

 

(Coincidentally, Jen, my hardback of Sovereign hasn't been bound well and the last 100 pages or so are falling out.)

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...it may have been too much of a good thing to read three of his on the trot
I'm resisting the temptation to dive in to the third in the series. However good a series is, a little space is required between each volume.

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Half way through Dissolution and really enjoying it. I am the fifth reader of the copy I have and I don't see it lasting too much longer if not handled very carefully. This is very surprising, as many books I read have many more readers and would still be in good condition, so it was interesting to hear the comments about this.

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Hi,

I've been reading quite a bit of sixteenth and seventeenth century history recently, I've just bought Leanda de Lisle's book about Lady Jane Grey and her sisters, The Sisters Who Would Be Queen. I only heard about Sansom's series by accident but I intend to buy the first one and give it a try. How does it compare with Alison Weir novels set in the period?

 

I've read that Dissolution is being adapted for TV, with Kenneth Branagh but, as I understand it, the project was delayed while the Wallander films were put together. It sounds promising....

 

Best,

Sam

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