Official Review: The Royal Secret by john bentley

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
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Acwoolet
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Official Review: The Royal Secret by john bentley

Post by Acwoolet » 20 Feb 2017, 17:17

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Royal Secret" by john bentley.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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The Royal Secret written by John Bentley sets a suspense thriller in both present times and an Elizabethan world unbeknownst to historical text. The death of a bioscience billionaire puts his spouse, Mrs. G, into motion in pursuit of the reasoning behind his death and the project that was of utmost importance that he had been working on. This search indicates that there was much more to the rule of the Virgin Queen that history has presented, which in turn will bring into light the ties to an occult in search for the elixir of life.

At the beginning of The Royal Secret Mrs. G familiarizes her step-grandchildren to the stories of the Knights Templar, Tudor Royals, back in time all the way to the life of Christ. In doing so imparting upon them the knowledge that there is much more than meets the eye to the mysteries of history. She explains that there are connections between current events to the long ago departed and that of their newly departed grandfather. Mrs. G’s quest to discover the answers behind the death of her spouse takes her through time to that of Queen Elizabeth I. In doing so she discovers ties to an occult that has control over many aspects of the modern world, which in turn brings criticism to modern science and its link to such occults.

Through out the novel one is taken on time jumps between our modern day world and that of the rein of Queen Elizabeth I. While the parallel Elizabethan universe tying into modern events is incredibly interesting the modern characters especially seem to go into tangents, rambling more often than they should: giving a halting quality to the narration. The occult aspect of the novel was also unclear until the very end, leaving me a little confused as to where exactly it had come from.

The author, however, does an exquisite job detailing life in the Elizabethan age; creating such imagery that one may envision the parallel universe as authentic history. I felt as if I were living life through the eyes of Queen Elizabeth I and her devoted subjects. I have been left with the deepest desire to pursue my own research of this time period to discover the truth behind these illusions.

Because of the rambling tangents and occasional halting quality of the narration, I give The Royal Secret 3 out of 4 stars. There were a few confusing sections of the novel that caused me to go back to figure out if I had somehow missed a certain detail or tidbit of information. However, the intrigue and deception through out the time jumps definitely made up for the lulls and confusions. I believe history buffs and lovers of good books alike will find this novel interesting, albeit leaving them hungering for more.

******
The Royal Secret
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Post by kandscreeley » 22 Feb 2017, 08:58

I do enjoy stories that help me learn more about what it was like to live back during these times, and it sounds like this does that. Unfortunately, the plot sounds a little confusing. Thanks for the review.
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Post by greenstripedgiraffe » 22 Feb 2017, 14:01

The Elizabethan part sounds especially intriguing! Seems the author just needs to tighten it up a bit to create an amazing book! Thanks for the review!
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Post by Sheila Derr » 22 Feb 2017, 20:00

Well written review! I like learning about that era, especially the Knight's Templar. This sounds like a book I would want to read, and since I already know parts are confusing, I would read slower than I usually do to better absorb what's going on. Thanks for the heads up.

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Post by kstockard » 23 Feb 2017, 00:19

This is a really great review! I would never pick a book like this up off the shelf but now I'm extremely excited to read this book. Great job at selling this book but also being critical at the same time.

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Post by Pilar Guerrero » 08 Mar 2017, 07:22

Thank you very much for this review.
When I studied English, one of my teachers was a big fun of Elizabeth I, and since today is my birthday, I consider this a perfect gift to tight my love for literarture, a recent and not well cultivated interest for historic books, and my memories from university.
Thanks again!
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Post by Sunspots » 08 Mar 2017, 07:53

Thanks for the great review. I love Elizabethan period books and the spy and occult elements in this are sure to make it a great choice for me.
It is also nice to know that I am not the only one that has to go back in a book sometimes in search of a possibly missed detail! I hate when I have to search but find nothing!

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Post by gali » 08 Mar 2017, 08:58

intrigue, deception, and secrets? Sound good. The occult aspect sure sounds intriguing. Too bad it was unclear till the very end. Good job on the review!
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by mindyg123 » 08 Mar 2017, 10:14

Great review. This book takes a look into the Knights Templar and all the way back to Christ add in a touch of the occult and I think you have a winner. Grabbed it right up and can't wait to read it.
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Post by evitatjie » 08 Mar 2017, 10:42

The Elizabethan times, the Victorian times... Slaves, old houses, the social order... That's the stuff for me when I read these types of books. I enjoyed feeling as though I was floating through these times with every page turn. Modern books sort of lack that gentleness for me in general. A very intriguing read.

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Post by bookowlie » 08 Mar 2017, 10:45

Great review! I have always been intrigued by the Elizabethan era. However, I am not sure this book is my cup of tea based on the rambling, awkward flow of the writing.
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Post by SandraTWP-BRW » 08 Mar 2017, 11:01

Thank you for a thorough review. I started this book and didn't really enjoy the first few pages. Your review shows that there is some promise, and it might be worth giving another chance. I have to ask, though - what exactly do you mean by " an Elizabethan world unbeknownst to historical text?" I'm very unclear on that.
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Post by janinejaroensaeng » 08 Mar 2017, 11:08

Well as I review it. At first sounds like boring but when I read it. It's nice but some of the word are little confused and I really read it slowly to understand .

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Post by ellieonline03 » 08 Mar 2017, 11:08

Parallel Elizabethan universe? Now that's interesting! I wonder how the author made the parallel universe' history unique to ours.
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Post by SandraTWP-BRW » 08 Mar 2017, 11:35

ellieonline03 wrote:Parallel Elizabethan universe? Now that's interesting! I wonder how the author made the parallel universe' history unique to ours.
Well, that clears it up! Sorry I missed this in the original review.
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