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I knew Phil Rickman from his Merrily Watkins mystery series. However, this is a complete departure from his earlier work.
This incredibly well researched piece of fiction casts the historical figure of Dr. John Dee as a slightly misanthropic, bookish man tasked with the impossible task of finding the bones of King Arthur.
The prose is really very beautiful. Rickman has cleverly addressed the issue of 'voice' and tone' in his 16th Century protagonist by adopting a blend of Elizabethan syntax and popular turns of phrase while still delivering an accessible and intimate narrative.
Like most of Rickman's novels, this one allows the story to straddle the grey zone between oddity and the the supernatural. It's so refreshing to read a writer who leaves his texts so open like this, when most fiction writers seem obsessed to tie every little mystery up.
If you like historical detective fiction, especially featuring real figures, and you like bit of a spine tingle, you'll enjoy this audiobook.
The narration by Seán Barrett is flawless. He does great regional accents, which added to the sense of place in the story.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
Queen Elizabeth has recently been crowned, and she's anxious to get help anywhere she can. That means sending a faithful scholar into the hinterlands to locate and retrieve the bones of King Arthur. This is a unique and clever story. The characters are well developed, and for the most part use language that gave a touch of the past without hindering the story. And Sean Barrett's narration was, as always, brilliant.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Woah, that was hard work, its a grim hard joyless book. Not a bad book, well written and well read but just so grim and moody...I like Phil Rickman and his work does tend to be slow burning and downbeat but this was a bit much for me..if you have not read him yet start with Wine of Angels its very Rickman but a bit more balanced.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Only downside is that the self- absorbed Dr Dee started to annoy in the middle section but that is perhaps a viable character trait and I got past it. Interesting portrayal of rural life during Elizabeth 1st early reign.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful