1564: Catholic herald William Harley, known as Clarenceux, guards a highly dangerous document. It's a manuscript he'd rather not have—destruction and death have followed in its wake. But things get much worse when the document is stolen, and he plunges into a nightmare of suspicion, deception, and conspiracy. As England teeters on the brink of a bloody conflict, Clarenceux knows the fate of the country and countless lives hang in the balance. The roots of betrayal are deep and shocking, and the herald's journey toward the truth entails not just the discovery of clues and signs, but also of himself.
In this brilliant new Elizabethan conspiracy from the internationally acclaimed author of Sacred Treason, faith and fear stir up a powerful story of loyalty, lies, and secrets.
Roots of Betrayal is the second book in a trilogy about a Catholic herald named William Clarenceux, also known as William Harley, however, it is not necessary to read the first book, titled Sacred Treason, in order to enjoy this novel. The story takes place in the 16th century known as the Elizabethan era. The protagonist, William, is a talented young man whose expertise is creating coats of arms, crests and mottos for the nobility. When one of Queen Elizabeth’s top advisors entrusts him with the safekeeping of a document entitled Catholic Treasure, he is not happy with the responsibility, but will do his utmost to keep good care of it. As the political world around him swirls with trouble caused by the civil unrest between the Catholics and Protestants, he realizes that the document he holds will fuel civil war between the two factions. Poor William! Despite all his efforts to protect the secret document, it is stolen and he is held responsible. Ultimately, he is imprisoned and suffers harsh conditions and torture.
Impressively researched, this novel is filled with plenty of exciting plot twists and historical detail that depict the brutality of the era. Well written and evocative, this is a suspense thriller set to entertain. Even though this book stands alone, I am definitely interested in reading the first book in the series which achieved bestseller status when it was released. Read one of James Forrester’s novels and you will be hooked!