This series just keeps getting better
The chronicles of Christoval is a beautiful series of books. They are well written and extremely well researched. Each book takes you on a different emotional journey and you can taste the fear, the horror and the love in each one. I have read them one after another and as soon as one was finished I couldn’t wait to start the next. Although each tells an individual event through to its conclusion I would recommend beginning at book 1 and working your way through.
An excellent series
I have read the whole series in a couple of weeks . The storylines are different, some local, some international. They vary from kidnapping an heiress to political machinations with murders linked into the plots. The central character has a secret if their own and this plot is tied into detail and historical accuracy seamlessly. A believable world of both real and imagined people. I hope the series continues.
Excellent as always
I was so pleased when I saw there was a new book in the Kit Alvarez series – I don’t think readers would get much out of this without first reading the earlier books. Either way, you’re in for a treat – those of us who have been following Kit’s adventures for a while will love this latest instalment and if you haven’t, you’re lucky to have the series ahead of you.
I’m not sure how much further Kit can go without his secret being discovered or his relationship with Simon resolved one way or another. However, I am very happy to suspend disbelief: these historical dramas are fantastic stories as well as teaching me so much about the lives of the powerful and the ordinary people of the time.
A precarious life in Elizabethan England
Although I do know the background to the historical events in this story and the outcome, that will not deter me from reading the story written in Swinfen’s inimitable style. Kit is still working at St Thomas’s Hospital as a doctor, but an old friend from St Bart’s is in trouble and comes to her for help. As in other books in this series, Kit’s Arabic medical knowledge (learned from her late father) is far ahead of her English colleagues, and a passage about a new-born early in the story demonstrates this. Just when Kit is feeling reasonably comfortable and safe in her disguise (apart from her arch-enemy), she gets a very disagreeable shock when she finds out that someone else also knows her true identity. The Players are having a very good season, but with Marlowe now dead, Shakespeare is churning out new plays as fast as he can.
As she begins making inquiries on behalf of her friend in trouble, Kit finds herself being drawn inexorably back into the web of the intelligence world. However, it is not the same as it was under Sir Francis Walsingham, with the Earl of Essex, a favourite of the Queen, setting up a service, while his Uncle, Lord Burghley, had already been active in intelligence work and sometimes overlapped with Sir Francis. Since the death of Sir Francis, Lord Burghley and his son, Sir Robert Cecil, enlarged their operation to become a full intelligence service in opposition to Essex and the rivalry is fierce and dangerous. To all intents and purposes England now has no single effective intelligence service dedicated solely to the defence of the realm and Her Majesty. The Marrano community is under serious threat and it seems that they may have to flee England, but everything hinges on the rivalry between Essex and the Cecils. The inept, arrogant Essex is no match for the Cecils, but he is close to the Queen and is filled with ambition to rise even higher than he is.
As usual with Ann Swinfen books, this one is fiction and history seamlessly interwoven into a deeply satisfying whole. Each new book in the “Chronicles” series is the best yet, and this one is no exception. Swinfen’s magnificent descriptive prose and her undoubted flair with dialogue, combined with a rare gift for story-telling makes each book, including this one, engrossing reading. Do I recommend this book? Of course I do.
A wonderful series of books
I read all nine books any moment I could find free time. They are a wonderful combination of mystery and history. I certainly hope more of the story of Dr Alvarez appear soon as the author left many things open ended.
I have studied much about the Tudors and especially Elizabeth I, but now I better understand the habits and conditions of all classes of people in that time.
Another excellent read from one of my favourite authors. My only negativity is that I now have a long time to wait until the next book in the series.
This is a wonderful series for those who like historical fiction.
The Lopez Affair
As ever really good read. A good combination of fact and fiction. Looking forward to the next book and Kit’s next adventure.
I love this series! There is so much intrigue and political cat-and-mouse in a very well written and conceived plot. Human life is worthless at times…..a harsh reality in 16th century England. We are shown aspects of poverty that are hardly thought of but greatly impact the lives of the lower class.
I eagerly await the next instalment of this brilliantly written series packed with facts and events of the day. Definite must read series for historical fiction readers….a real treat!