This rip-roaring account of murder and monastic intrigue in the court of Henry VIII reels with atmosphere and a thoroughly refreshing voice.
Whether you’re an aficionado of novels set in the Tudor era, or are looking for an atmospheric page-turner to keep you reading into the wee hours, Steven Veerapen’s Of Blood Descended is likely to float your imperial barge. It’s a veritable feast of un-put-down-able historic fiction.
It’s the summer of 1522 and as Henry VIII’s court receives Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, Anthony Blanke is summoned back to Hampton Court by Cardinal Wolsey, his former employee. The cardinal wants Anthony (the son of the king’s late black trumpeter, John Blanke) to take centre stage in a gift he’s preparing for Henry - a masque of King Arthur and the Black Knight.
But Anthony’s role at court takes a very different turn when Wolsey’s historian is murdered, his body discovered as part of a grisly tableau scene, and Anthony is called upon to investigate the historian’s death. With “the shadowy, faceless, nameless murderer… abroad in the city streets”, he must “hunt him” on a labyrinthine inquiry as Anne Boleyn comes onto the scene.
Witty, often funny, and always sharply evocative, Anthony’s narrative voice is incredibly engaging and gives this history-rich thriller broad modern appeal.
'Beautifully written ... a unique tale told in a unique voice' - S.G. Maclean
Summer, 1522. In a wave of pomp, Henry VIII's court welcomes the Imperial emperor, Charles V. Anthony Blanke, the son of the king's late 'black trumpet', John Blanke, is called to Hampton Court by his former employer, Cardinal Wolsey. The cardinal is preparing a gift for King Henry: a masque of King Arthur and the Black Knight. Anthony is to take centre stage.
The festive mood, however, quickly sours. Wolsey's historian, charged with proving the king's descent from King Arthur, is found murdered, his body posed in a gruesome tableau. A reluctant Anthony is charged with investigating the affair. His mission takes him on the path trod by the historian, through ancient monastic libraries and the back streets of London.
On a journey that takes him from Hampton Court to Windsor and Winchester, and which sees him lock horns with secretive monks, historian Polydore Vergil, and a new face at court, Anne Boleyn, he must discover the murderer, secure the great masque, and avoid King Henry's wrath.
|Publication date:||5th May 2022|
|Publisher:||Birlinn Ltd an imprint of Birlinn General|
|Primary Genre||Historical Fiction|
'This is a wonderfully evocative portrait of the earlier Tudor world, beautifully written with at times startlingly refreshing use of language and imagery. A unique tale told in a unique voice' -- S.G. Maclean
'Steven Veerapen is a new name on the fiction scene, but one of whom we'll surely be hearing much, much more' -- Sarah Gristwood