The Great Revolt

13 Jun

“The Great Revolt” by Paul Doherty is the latest in the Brother Athelstan series of mysteries.

It has finally come… the Peasant’s Revolt has reached London.  John of Gaunt has gone north, ostensibly to go to war against Scotland, leaving London and Richard II undefended.  Sir Jack Cranston is at the young king’s side, and Athelstan is in the midst of turmoil again.

This time someone has murdered a member of the community at the Dominican house at Blackfriars.  Athelstan is called back to Blackfrairs to find the killer, and to act as Devil’s Advocate in the matter of the possible beatification/cannonisation of Edward II.  Meanwhile, London is burning around them, and someone has abducted the men of the parish of St Erconwalds!

“The Great Revolt” is the culmination of the massive story arc that Paul has been writing for damn near 20 years.

Prior Anslem, who has been a minor presence in a few of the books, has a fairly major role this time.  The character proved to be very likeable and I hope we see more of him in future Athelstan books.

I have read a lot of books about the Peasant’s Revolt.  Both fiction and non fiction.  But this book is the only one that has made me see the destruction, and feel the misery and terror welling around it.  As Athelstan, Jack Cranston, and Benedicta venture around both the City and Southwark, you get to see through their eyes the devastation, and murder, that was visited on the people.

If you read one novel about the Peasant’s Revolt this year, make it this one.  The intensity and depth are incredible.

Highly recommended.

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