by Bernard Cornwell
Bernard Cornwell takes a dramatic departure from his tales of Sharpe fighting in the Napoleonic Wars to delve into the heart of the Elizabethan era (long one of his favourite periods of British history). We meet Richard Shakespeare, dreaming of a glittering career in one of London’s playhouses, but this is a world dominated by his older brother, William. Richard is a penniless actor, making ends meet through a combination of a beautiful face, petty theft and a silver tongue. Increasingly estranged as William’s star rises and his doesn’t, Richard’s one-time gratitude is souring, and he is sorely tempted to abandon family loyalty. When a priceless manuscript goes missing, suspicion falls on him, forcing a perilous path through a bawdy and frequently brutal London. To avoid the gallows, he must play the role of a lifetime. Fools and Mortals is a richly portrayed tour de force with all of Bernard Cornwell’s hallmark storytelling and a remarkable cast of characters. You walk the streets, explore the palaces and experience the scandals among the men and women of Elizabethan London. Adventurous, sharp and funny dialogue with a surprisingly likeable hero, Bernard Cornwell lives up to his reputation as a master storyteller.
Matakana Village Books