It’s the summer of 1572 and Dr Christopher Radcliff, chief of intelligence for the Earl of Leicester has his work cut out for him. When two of his informants disappear, Christopher suspects foul play but has no proof.
Then there is a whisper. Incendium.
In order to uncover a ruthless plot against the Queen of England, Christopher travels to France, only to witness brutal bloodshed and only just escaping with his life.
Time is against him as Christopher races to find out who are the preparators of Incendium and protect the Queen from assassination.
Christopher doesn’t know who to trust.
Author: A.D. Swanston
Publisher: Bantam Press
As soon as I saw Incendium by A.D. Swanston, I wanted it! The cover is beautiful! Never mind `don’t-judge-a-book-by-its-cover` – I wanted this book!
It did not let me down.
I haven’t read anything set in this era since I was a child and reading The Lady Grace Mysteries. It was refreshing to immerse myself in a different time and Swanston made this time accessible – I picked up on the way of life pretty much straight away!
The plot involves mystery, murder and a man trying to figure it out before it is too late. It is not the most action-packed or mysterious (I figured out who it was about a hundred pages before the character!).
What this book is, however, is steady. It gripped my attention the entire way through and remained a solid read throughout. It didn’t matter that I knew who it was – they still had to catch him! The pacing never slipped, the characters were solid and the plot enjoyable from start to finish. Never underestimate a steady book – they seem to be rare these days!
Christopher Radcliff is a thoroughly likeable character. There is a hint of darkness to his background that gives him depth but his determination shouldn’t be underestimated. Christopher is out of his depth for most of the novel but he refuses to give up.
The Earl of Leicester is temperamental – but that only raises the stakes for Christopher. Tomasso is a good friend and Christopher couldn’t have done it without him. Ell was fantastic – she relieved the tension and stopped scenes becoming too heavy.
Katherine’s character was the problem for me. She demanded so much of Christopher – things that could have them arrested for treason if anyone found out she knew. Yet she still demanded, and never listened to his explanations. The way Katherine was presented made it hard for me to see why Christopher loved her.
I will be recommending this book to as many people as I can. I loved it! It was refreshing, engaging and never faltered from the first page to the last. Despite some predictability, I was still caught unawares at other times and, basically, really enjoyed reading Incendium.
A thoroughly good read for sure!