SPELLBINDING TALE SET IN CARDINAL RICHELIEU’S FRANCE
With enemies advancing on all sides and Cardinal Richelieu’s health failing, France is at breaking point. Yet salvation may arrive in the most unlikely form…
Born into poverty and with terrible deformities, Sebastian Morrais a dwarf with the wit of Tyrion Lannister and three foot, four inches of brazen pluck. Through a mixture of brains and luck, he has travelled far from his village to become a jester at the royal court. And with a talent for making enemies, he is soon drawn into the twilight world of Cardinal Richelieu, where he discovers he might just be the only man with the talents to save France from her deadliest foes.
The Cardinal’s man is fantastic historical fiction. It’s both compelling and very interesting, a book I definitely recommend reading!
Sebastian is a brilliant main character, a truly unlikely hero that constantly has to fight against all the prejudices other people have against him due to his diminutive size. It was heart breaking at times to read about how he dealt with these prejudices, not letting his tormentors get away with this abuse, although this does sometimes lead him into trouble. He is a very easy character to get behind and cheer on which I found myself doing through out the book. I thought he was a very entertaining character too and I found that I wanted to keep reading to discover what he would do next. One of the most poignant bits of the book is that Sebastian is actually very intelligent but is never given the chance to show people this as people are quick to assume that because he is small in body then is small in intellect too which he proves isn’t true throughout the book.
The Cardinal was another interesting character and one that I couldn’t decide whether I liked or not. On one hand he was one of the only people to give Sebastian a chance and recognised his intelligent which was a great confidence boost for Sebastian but the fact that he wouldn’t standup for Sebastian against his bullies meant that I didn’t like him much and thought him a bit of a cold fish!
The author does a great job setting the scene for this book. I really felt like I was in 17th Century France experiencing life alongside Sebastian. The huge divide between rich and poor at the time is well described as is the unrest that the poor felt at being taxed to breaking point to help fund more wars. At times you could almost feel their hatred for the rich coming off the page. Of course, as we know now, this unrest helped cause The French Revolution almost a hundred years later.
I love learning about new periods of history and I must confess that I knew nothing of Cardinal Richelieu and his influence in France. The author cleverly integrates actual historical events into the story which was fascinating to read about. I always enjoy being able to look up such events on the internet to learn more, so this was a huge bonus for me.
This is M. J Sinclair’s début novel and I very much look forward to reading more from him. A huge thank you to Black and white publishers for my copy of this book.
About The Author:
The only child of two writers, M.G. Sinclair grew up in a world that revolved around literature. Breaking the family tradition, he rebelled and joined the corporate world, where he worked as a copywriter and marketing executive. However, unable to escape the inevitable, he has now completed his debut, a historical novel inspired by a trip to the Prado in Madrid.
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