My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The political and religious strife of Elizabeth I’s reign take center stage in Sacred Treason, in which a secret Catholic, William Harley, Clarenceux King of Arms, is entrusted with a chronicle. Unfortunately, very powerful people are also trying to get ahold of this chronicle, and Clarenceux finds himself sucked into the center of a plot that he really wants to have nothing to do with.
The plot is interesting enough, and I appreciated how all of the clues to this mystery fit together. I also enjoyed all of the historical detail, although at times it felt like there was so much of it that people unfamiliar with this time period might be overwhelmed.
Unfortunately, in most other respects, the book fell flat to me. For one thing, I felt like a spectator watching these characters act, rather than being along for the ride. This distance made it difficult to get truly absorbed in the story; I even got bored during the many action scenes.
I also had a hard time with Rebecca, the wife of the man who left Clarenceux the chronicle, who goes along with him so she can help get her husband back. She does prove useful at several crucial moments, but unfortunately, most of her time is spent adding completely unnecessary sexual tension.
Overall, I was disappointed with this book. It had the potential to pack a punch, but it just didn’t click for me.