Q, Paperback
4 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Set in Reformation Europe, Q begins with Luther's nailing of his 95 theses on the door of the cathedral church in Wittenberg.

Q traces the adventures and conflicts of two central characters: an Anabaptist, a member of the most radical of the Protestant sects and the anarchists of the Reformation, and a Catholic spy and informer, on their thrilling journey across Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

The four young writers who shelter behind the pseudonym Luther Blissett have created a world of intrigue, violence and intense political and religious passion.

Far from the traditional example of historical fiction, Q is the stuff of which cults are made.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 672 pages, Illustrations, maps, ports
  • Publisher: Cornerstone
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Historical fiction
  • ISBN: 9780099439837



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

At over 500 pages and set in one of Europe's most turbulent and violent periods of history, Q is not a light read. The plot follows the central character between various religious revolts, sharing his heady sense of justice amid visions of a new world order and his cruel defeats, along the way the reader is spared little of the casual malice of the age. Over time the multi-named hero becomes aware of Q, a shadowy adversary whose identity becomes an obsession.Q is a good book. It is well written with an intriguing plot and unlike many historical novels it uses past events and characters to its advantage. I am glad I got to the end; however, it was a struggle. Partly this is due to the off-hand brutality that peppers the book, partly because the story is told in a multitude of ways that can sometimes be difficult to follow. The characters are hit-and-miss, some wonderful and realistic (some of the side characters hesitation between inaction, madness, faith and morality is genuinely sad), others being two-dimensional. Mostly, however, the main character just got on my nerves: he is both wise and sensible when others give in to insanity, a believer in the revolutions he follows and helps foment, a student of life's harshest lessons ... but most of all he can seem like a bit of a whiner. The defeats he has suffered and how others have been harmed because of him are stressed relentlessly; the intrigues with Q and the final denouement are bizarrely out of character and I struggle to see his passion for his cause.Irritation with the narrator is a fairly fatal blow, but fortunately it is insufficient to sink 'Q'. It is intelligent, interesting and rewarding and although I occasionally wonder what else I could have done with all that time, I'm leaving the book on hand because one day I suspect I will revisit it.

Review by

Honestly it was an interesting read if a bit fragmented and meandering. I'm not sure that it's really my kind of book but I'm not unhappy that I read it. It gave me an insight into the various revolts and the effect that the reformation had on people and how they thought about the world.

Review by

I am in awe! An amazing, historical tour de force which brought to life the turmoil of Europe of the Reformation, the incredible incestuous politicking of the factions, the long view the Vatican takes (to this very day) built within a brilliant spy novel at the top of the genre. I'd pay a great deal of money to have lunch with the authors - 'course I'd have to learn Italian or they'd have to speak English.