Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Review ~ The Second Blast of the Trumpet by Marie Macpherson

Knox Robinson

A bit of blurb...

1559: Freed after a stint in the galleys, the Scottish reformer John Knox is fired up with his mission as God's messenger to strike at the roots of papistry. Prophet without honour in his own land, he is welcomed as chaplain to Edward VI in England. But by challenging the liturgy of the English Protestant Church, he makes dangerous enemies. With Edward's untimely death and the accession of the Catholic Mary Tudor, Knox is forced to flee her fires of persecution...

My thoughts about the book..

I must admit that, in the past, my only knowledge of John Knox came more from my interest in the ill-fated queen, Mary Stuart and although I recognised Knox as the one who maligned her from the pulpit, I knew nothing of the man, or the circles, in which he moved. In The Second Blast of the Trumpet the author has done a commendable job of bringing to life this dour Scotsman in such a readable way. There is something compellingly different about this fleshing out of perhaps the most important radical reformer in Scottish history.

My interest in the series was sparked by the first book in the series, The First Blast of the Trumpet, and I'm pleased to say that this second book follows on seamlessly. We meet Knox as he is freed from his time in the galleys, and watch as he begins the journey which will take him right into the heart of religious and political turmoil. After Knox's well documented diatribe on the Monstrous Regiment of Women, I imagined that he would be portrayed as a chauvinistic misogynist however, he shown to be rather charismatic, and a man who women found much to admire. It was interesting to see how his relationships with his wife, Marjory, and his mother-in -law Elizabeth, would play out in the wider scheme of the story.

I have great admiration for the author who has succeeded in giving us more than just a bible thumping maniac. She has instilled such a sense of personality into John Knox that regardless of religious differences you can't help but be drawn into his story of fervent religious strife. Time and place is captured with such fine attention to detail that I felt as if I kept company with those who stood shoulder to shoulder listening to Knox as he railed, from the pulpit and beyond, against religious injustice.

The Second Blast of the Trumpet is not a quick read, and I don't mean that as a criticism, but the depth of content and beautifully described situations make this more a of story to take your time over in order to fully absorb the detail and imagery which is so wonderfully portrayed. 

However, as always, Knox’s heart and soul belongs in Scotland and the author has made sure that his burning ambition is always central to the story and never falters from giving glorious life to this most enigmatic of men.

Best Read with...A bowl of steaming stew  and a glut of ale...

About the Author

Marie Macpherson developed a love for literature and languages from an early age. She studied French and German at school, followed by Spanish and Italian at university. After gaining an honors degree in Russian and English, she spent a year in Moscow and Leningrad (St. Petersburg).

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Find The First Blast of the Trumpet on Amazon UK

Find The Second Blast of the Trumpet on Amazon UK

Read and interview with the author about The Second Blast of the Trumpet by clicking  here 

My thanks to the author for sharing her book with me.



  1. Many, many thanks for the glowing review, Jo! Writing about such a controversial figure as Knox is a risky undertaking but I hope I've managed to make him more three-dimensional than the stereotypical caricature. Love to Jaffa!

    1. It was a pleasure to catch up with John Knox again, Marie. You know where to find us when the Third Blast is ready to be unleashed :)


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