StoryGraph Saturday is a weekly thing where I randomly choose a book from my To Read pile on StoryGraph and show it off to both remind myself that it’s there and to show it to you, Dear Reader, in case you might find it interesting, too.
The Eyes of the Queen (Agents of the Crown #1)
by Oliver Clements
Published in 2020
From The StoryGraph:
In this first novel of the exhilarating Agents of the Crown series, a man who will become the original MI6 agent protects England and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I from Spain’s nefarious plan to crush the Age of the Enlightenment.
After centuries locked in an endless cycle of poverty, persecution, and barbarity, Europe has finally emerged into the Age of Enlightenment. Scientists, philosophers, scholars, and poets alike believe this to be a new era of reason and hope for all. But the forces of darkness haven’t completely dissipated, as Spain hunts and butchers any who dare to defy its ironclad Catholic orthodoxy.
Only one nation can fight the black shadow that threatens this new age, and that is Britain, now ruled by a brilliant young Queen Elizabeth I. But although she may be brave and headstrong, Elizabeth knows she cannot win this war simply by force of arms. After her armies have been slashed in half, her treasury is on its knees. Elizabeth needs a new kind of weapon forged to fight a new kind of war, in which stealth and secrecy, not bloodshed, are the means.
In this tense situation, Her Majesty’s Secret Service is born with the charismatic John Dee at its head. A scholar, a soldier, and an alchemist, Dee is loyal only to the truth and to his Queen. And for her, the woman he’s forbidden from loving, he is prepared to risk his life.
A visceral and heart-pumping historical thriller, The Eyes of the Queen is perfect for fans of Ken Follett and Dan Brown.
I’m willing to bet that Oliver Clements did not write the synopsis for this book, because I would assume that someone who has done enough research to write a historical thriller realizes that Medieval Europe was not the barbaric, impoverished, and persecuted land that the synopsis says it is, but anyway. Having recently read Allison Epstein’s A Tip for the Hangman, I wanted to find another spy thriller set in the Elizabethan era. The Tudor era is one of my favorite historical periods, and there was more than enough political intrigue in Elizabeth I’s reign to give rise to many, many series of books. I admit that I’m a little skeptical about John Dee being the star of the show here, rather than William Cecil or Francis Walsingham, but I’m willing to give it a try. My library has a copy of The Eyes of the Queen, so if I don’t like it, I can just take it back.
And if I do like it, I have a new series to look forward to.