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The Tournament by Matthew Reilly

The Tournament

Thriller / Suspense   Historical Fiction   eBook Favourites   
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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

February 2014 eBook of the Month.

The game in question is chess, the board Constantinople and the prize, a broader education for Elizabeth I! This imagines Princess Elizabeth, aged 13 (1546) being accompanied by her tutor, a chess master and an oversexed lady-in-waiting to a chess congress organised by the Sultan. There are all sorts of Christian/Muslim tension, spying and murder, sex and skulduggery in an easy, fast read of escapist fun.

reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Tournament a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - ' An exciting historical whodunnit with a charismatic, resourceful main character. The descriptions of 16th century Constantinople are marvellous.' Sarah Musk.

Scroll down to read more reviews.

If you like Matthew Reilly you might also like to read books by Tom Clancy, Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child and David Rollins.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. It is 1546, the year before the death of Henry VIII, and for the young Princess Elizabeth life is difficult as change looms and her siblings jostle for power. When her tutor, Roger Ascham, is bidden by Suleiman the Magnificent, no less, to go to Constantinople to take part in a chess tournament, he decides to take young Bess with him. On the first night of the tournament, however, someone is murdered, with the result that Bess is exposed to a world quite as dark as the one she has just left, and in which she will bear witness to events that will shape her future life indelibly. A gripping historical thriller by this rightly acclaimed Australian writer.
~ Julia Hamilton


The Tournament by Matthew Reilly

The Black Death stalks the land and with it deadly conspiracies against her. She is not currently in line for the throne, but she remains a threat to her older sister and brother. In the midst of this fevered atmosphere comes an unprecedented invitation from the Sultan in Constantinople. He seeks to assemble the finest players of chess from the whole civilised world and pit them against each other. The prize? Fabulous wealth but also the honour of Christendom. Roger Ascham, Elizabeth's teacher and mentor, is determined to keep her out of harm's way and also continue her education in the art of power and politics. Ascham resolves to take Elizabeth with him when he accompanies the English chess champion to the Ottoman capital. But once there, the two find more danger than they left behind. There's a grotesque killer on the loose and a Catholic cardinal has already been found mutilated in the grounds of the palace. Ascham is asked by the Sultan to use his razor-sharp mind to investigate the crime. But as he and Elizabeth delve deeper into the murky world of the court and the glittering chess tournament, they find dark secrets, horrible crimes and unheard-of depravity. Things that mark the young princess for life and define the queen that she will become...


We have asked a select number of members and browsers to review The Tournament. You can read their reviews below.

Barbara Gaskell - 'I found it very enjoyable and it made my daily train commute whizz by. Overall while not quite what I expected, reading The Tournament has tempted me to try Matthew Reilly’s more traditional style of book.' Click Here to read the full review.

Beverley Davenport - 'A well-crafted, well told book that will have readers’ hearts racing and their clogs turning; a must read for all readers.' Click Here to read the full review.

Julie Bickerdyke - 'A beautifully written and fascinating story of murder and intrigue in 16th century Constantinople that possibly explains how Princess Elizabeth became the formidable Queen we are so proud of.' Click Here to read the full review.

Catherine Jenkins - 'A vivid portrayal that offers to fill the gaps in our knowledge regarding the early education and formative years of Queen Elizabeth I.' Click Here to read the full review.

Sarah Musk - 'An exciting historical whodunnit with a charismatic, resourceful main character. The descriptions of 16th century Constantinople are marvellous.' Click Here to read the full review.

Sarah Harper - 'This is a very cleverly crafted book...It kept me guessing and made it very hard for me to tear myself away from it. A truly superb read which I would highly recommend.' Click Here to read the full review.

Linda Rollins - 'An historical whodunit involving a royal princess with loads of fascinating facts and fantastic fiction: a great adventure story filled with some gorgeous snippets of wisdom...' Click Here to read the full review.

Susan Walsh - 'Simply wonderful. The British meet The Ottoman Empire. A fascinating Read.' Click Here to read the full review.

Debbie Patrick - 'This I have to admit was good, it was interesting & well written & you didn’t need to understand chess to enjoy the novel. I would recommend this book.' Click Here to read the full review.

Elisabeth Thomas - 'This book gripped me from the start and is full of intrigue which kept me turning the pages.' Click Here to read the full review.

Suzanne James - 'Evocative writing and a novel idea but a little let down by the pace.' Click Here to read the full review.

Cathy Petersen - 'A potentially good tale of intrigue and murder that doesn’t quite deliver all it promises.' Click Here to read the full review.

Lynn Curtis - 'A shaggy dog of a historical story.' Click Here to read the full review.

About the Author

Matthew Reilly

Matthew Reilly wrote his first book, CONTEST, in 1994 whilst attending the University of New South Wales. It was rejected by every major publishing company. This caused Reilly to self-publish 1,000 copies using money borrowed from his family. Reilly went to a bookstore in Sydney and asked if he could place the copies on one of their book shelves. They accepted the offer . Very shortly after, the books had sold out and the owner of the bookstore called Reilly to order more books. One copy was read by Pan Macmillan, who immediately signed Reilly up to write ICE STATION, which became an international bestseller. Since then, he has been published in over fifteen countries, including Norway, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands, South Africa, Japan and China. Reilly's main influences include Michael Crichton, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and possibly Art Bell.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th January 2014


Matthew Reilly

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Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co




Thriller / Suspense
Historical Fiction
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