A recent bout of man-flu gave me the chance to rattle through some of the new books piled by bed. The Ancient Curse took me a few hours to read and they passed quickly and enjoyably. It is much as to be expected, an historical novel with mysterious deaths, a charming hero, child sidekick and plenty of love interest - indeed one wonders if there isn't a budding Mills and Boom waiting to pop out of Manfredi. This novel is never going to be part of the national curriculum, and I probably won't read it again; there is without question something lost when a work is translated, but, that said, I haven't read Manfredi in the Italian. As an "item" I rate it three out of five, in that it can't compare with the likes of Orwell or Joyce etc, but as a thriller in an historical setting, I dont see why it shouldn't get a four or five.