Tuesday, August 01, 2006

"The Hounds of God" by Rafael Sabatini

Roger Trevanion had long retired from the world of diplomatic intrigue which almost cost him his life and, in the subsequent decades of Elizabeth’s momentous reign in England, he sought an escapist solace in books. It was said of him that he preferred the company of the dead to that of the living.

But reality has an unwelcome way of intruding into one’s private reveries and a tragic crime exploded in Roger Trevanion’s life that not only shattered his self-centered sense of security but threatened to cost him the only thing (besides his distracting literature) he treasured – his beautiful daughter, Margaret.

This is the crisis around which Rafael Sabatini weaves his exciting adventure novel, The Hounds of God; the novel which served as the July selection for our Notting Hill Napoleons literary club. And, like the other Sabatini books we’ve enjoyed together, The Hounds of God served up a generous supply of tension, thrills, intrigue, romance and history. Along the way, Sabatini gives the reader vivid and stirring descriptions of Queen Elizabeth, King Philip II, the Spanish Armada and its defeat at the hands of English privateers (and weather), Sir Francis Drake, and the Spanish Inquisition.

I’d tell more here but I don’t want any of the drama to be spoiled for you. And even the briefest book recommendations sometimes commit the atrocious crime that prefaces and even jacket blurbs do; namely, tell the reader way too much beforehand.

So, let this final word suffice – if you like well-written, vibrant and profound historical adventures, you’ll very much enjoy reading Rafael Sabatini’s The Hounds of God.