Grave Goods : Mistress of the Art of Death

  • by Ariana Franklin
  • Narrated by Kate Reading
  • Series: Mistress of the Art of Death
  • 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

England, 1176. Beautiful, tranquil Glastonbury Abbey - one of England's holiest sites, and believed by some to be King Arthur's sacred Isle of Avalon - has been burned almost to the ground. The arsonist remains at large, but the fire has uncovered something even more shocking: two hidden skeletons, a man and a woman. The skeletons' height and age send rumors flying - are the remains those of Arthur and Guinevere? King Henry II hopes so. Struggling to put down a rebellion in Wales, where the legend of Celtic savior Arthur is particularly strong, Henry wants definitive proof that the bones are Arthur's. If the rebels are sure that the Once and Future King will not be coming to their aid, Henry can stamp out the insurgence for good. He calls on Adelia Aguilar, Mistress of the Art of Death, to examine the bones. Henry's summons comes not a moment too soon, for Adelia has worn out her welcome in Cambridge. As word of her healing powers has spread, so have rumors of witchcraft. So Adelia and her household ride to Glastonbury, where the investigation into the abbey fire will be overseen by the Church authorities - in this case, the Bishop of St. Albans, who happens also to be the father of Adelia's daughter.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Third is Second

I loved this series from the beginning. The first was the best, and this, the third novel, is second. Number two left me unsatisfied.

As always, Ms. Franklin's history is well researched, and her people are more real than some of my neighbors. No one is all good or bad. Henry II is an enlightened but manipulative monarch. The Bishop Of St. Albans, Rowley, is as conflicted about his passion for Adelia as before. And Adelia herself is as intelligent, independent & inquisitive as always. Some of the actions might be a bit far fetched to us in the 21st century. I can never get my head around the all encompassing religious faith, laws, and pressure from the Catholic church that was the norm in the 12th century. The Pope had the power to bring down monarchs, and the church could declare a death sentence on anyone it decided was a heretic.

At the end of the book, you know some changes will be made. I hope those changes have King Henry
and Bishop Rowley playing larger parts in book#4.
We'll have to wait now, alas, to see.
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- Irenehope

A surprising thrill ride

I loved it. A few inconsistencies here and there, and yes, I anticipated most of the plot moves but who cares? The dialog was spot on, the characters well rounded and real. The reader, Kate Reading, was terrific. Her voice brought the various people alive. She is surprising adept at male voices. Am I the only person who hears her Henry speaking the words of the author, Franklin, and sees Peter O'Toole? Adelia's insight into the nature of the men who turn out to be her friends and saviors is wonderful to listen to. This was one of those books I couldn't wait to hear the end of, yet I did not want it to end. I can't wait for more!
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- Wadie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-27-2009
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio