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Princess Elizabeth, assistant sleuth?

May 3, 2015

reilly You may have read something by Australian author Matthew Reilly since he has written 14 action thriller novels and has achieved over 7 million book sales to date.  “The Tournament” has plenty of action as well as sex and murder, but is also a first-rate thriller with a historical background.

The tournament concerned is one of chess, a challenge laid down to representatives of European power in the 16th century by the Sultan of the Muslim Ottoman Empire. King Henry VIII sends a chess champion accompanied by the thirteen-year-old Princess Elizabeth and her teacher-mentor Roger Ascham. Before very long, the Sultan has asked Ascham to investigate a murder in the Topkapi Palace of Constantinople. Ascham is the hero of this tale seen through the eyes of the young Princess and during this adventure she learns many lessons which will influence her as she becomes the Virgin Queen, good Queen Bess.  Incidentally, you don’t need to have played chess to enjoy this story, it is simply a clever core around which a series of murders are committed. Princess Elizabeth helps her very astute teacher to solve the mystery though the tournament itself is only the scene of the crimes.

Mr Reilly writes a fast paced thriller with interesting details as to the Islamic way of life, Catholic clergy shenanigans and the many characters who actually lived at this time including a young Ivan the Terrible, Michelangelo, Suleiman the Magnificent and St. Ignatius.

The author warns the reader at the onset that his novel contains some explicit sex scenes so beware! The Tournament is an original history-mystery, attractively packaged and presented and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

– Larry Gordon


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