Friday, May 17, 2013

The Roots of Betrayal by James Forrester

With The Roots of Betrayal, James Forrester has once again delivered a thrilling historical fiction adventure. It’s been a hectic month with the end of the semester, but this book transported me to another world. It was hard to put it down and get some sleep!

The Roots of Betrayal is the second novel in a trilogy about the William Harley, Clarenceux King of Arms. Clarenceux is a secret Catholic during a time that it was very dangerous to be a known Catholic. In the first novel, Clarenceux worked with Rebecca Machyn to solve a mystery and discovered a document that could bring down Elizabeth I as the legitimate ruler of England. Fearing that this would create a religious Civil War, Clarenceux has concealed the document in his home with the blessing of the Queen’s advisor, Sir William Cecil.

In The Roots of Betrayal, Clarenceux discovers that the document has been stolen from his home and that he has been betrayed by Rebecca Machyn. Clarenceux goes on a perilous voyage to discover the forces behind the betrayal and robbery and also above all, to protect his country from religious warfare. Along the way he meets pirate Raw Carew. Carew was at first seeking the “Catholic Treasure,” but then puts himself on the path of revenge against an individual that harmed the people he loved. Carew and Clarenceux become unlikely allies and work together to solve a perilous mystery.

The Roots of Betrayal was a unique story with a great twist for the ending – I did not see it coming. I love books that lead me on a great adventure and have me guessing until the very end. I loved the setting in 1564 in Elizabethan England. It has always been a fascinating period of history for me. I also enjoyed the characters. I loved the introduction of Raw Carew. He was a “Robin Hood” of the seven seas. He was an interesting character that followed his own moral code. He did some dastardly deeds and was fascinating overall.

Overall, I highly recommend The Roots of Betrayal and Sacred Treason for anyone looking for a fascinating historical fiction thriller or just a great read overall.

Book Source – Review copy from Sourcebooks. Thank-you!


  1. Laura, this sounds like a book I'd also enjoy; it sounds fascinating and I do relish good historical fiction.

  2. I like that its a historical fiction thriller too. I just love historical fiction in general - what a good genre!

  3. There aren't that many historical thrillers out there, and this one sounds really good!