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Bad Bishop [Paperback]

Irene Soldatos
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £9.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

31 Oct 2013
History is not something that happened to other people. History is a memory. August A.D. 1120 Dijon. A headless corpse is found in a room with shuttered windows and the door locked from the inside. The man's name was Salonius and he was the Duke. His young heir's grasp on the throne is precarious, yet a new alliance is made to safeguard his position. November A.D. 1120 Barcelona. Alexander, the Prince, learns that the emperor Enmerkar is looking to add Barcelona to his territories. January A.D. 1121 London. Julian, the Governor, finds that Enmerkar has turned his hungry gaze toward England. April A.D. 1121 York. Medb, the Queen, discovers that Enmerkar hungers for the whole Isle. Many now recognize the threat posed by Enmerkar's continued expansion, so a game of politics begins to spin a web of alliances and treaties that will thwart Enmerkar. But this is not a web of humankind. These men and women are Algul, a race that lives, unseen, alongside humanity. They are rulers and warriors, storytellers and shapeshifters, magicians and politicians. Each was human once. None is human now. Their learning is far deeper than that of humans, their strength far greater, their lives not curtailed by illness or by age - the price a life lived in the shadows and sustained by blood. Yet while all others are entangled in their political machinations, only one man can see that Salonius's murder was but the first move in a deeper plot, one that even he cannot fully piece together. For, in a world where history is a memory, the greatest danger comes from what has been forgotten.

Product details

  • Paperback: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Safkhet Fantasy (31 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908208171
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908208170
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,606,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

This is where I tell you a few things about myself. I was born in Greece but moved to Oxford with my parents when I was six. After a few years we moved back to Greece, but tended to spend a couple of months every year in England. This went on for fifteen years. It has made me bilingual and somewhat confused. Part of me is very, very British, part of me not remotely so. There are some things I will never understand. Cricket, for example. It has been explained to me repeatedly but it continues to elude me -- its rules as much as its attraction. On the other hand, I played rounders at school, jam roly-poly with lashings of custard is my idea of the perfect pudding, and I approve of eccentricity, in both dress and behaviour (a very un-Greek thing to do. Eccentricity is not something the national psyche approves of. Sadly.)

I eventually moved back to England, to Leeds this time, to do a Master's and then a Ph.D. in Musicology. This was after getting a B.A. in English from the University of Athens.

I read a lot. Both fiction and non-fiction. I love science as well as history, but I am, if I'm honest, a history buff. I decided to study history as a hobby, rather than as a profession, since there's already three historians in my immediate family. Discussions on the price of wheat in 14th century Crete -- or how it may be proved that someone mentioned in one particular notarial register can be proved to be the same person as someone mentioned in a chronicle as having taken part in a rebellion -- would be, and still are, the normal fare round the family table. I thought three people dealing with that sort of thing every day were enough for one family. Still, it hasn't proved possible to evade the bug altogether.

Unsurprisingly, I love music. But my tastes range from Motörhead to François de Couperin, and from Rammstein to Mahler. I am a geek -unashamed and proud to be called one. I am a dedicated pen-and-paper gamer, and a vocal advocate of all things Open Source. I'm also an archer. I haven't shot in some time, unfortunately, but put a bow in my hand and I still know what to do with it. I also know what to do with several of the Chinese weapons in my collection. I have trained with a fan, with a flute, with a spear, and with a Dao sword. I'm terribly rusty of course these days so, knowing what to do with them, wouldn't necessarily equate with actually being able to do something with them.

I live in Marburg with my husband and two black cats. Fyren and Phaedra.
And if you're that way inclined you can get in touch with me through Twitter, or my website: http://www.irenesoldatos.eu

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical mediaeval mystery tour! 31 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My wife and I read this on another site when it was just a fledgling product. How wonderful to see it now, not only hatched but brought to the fullest fruition of its glorious potential. Bad Bishop is a big book, bordering on an epic, but is so well-written - and so deliciously intricate - that one doesn't just read it, one savours it. The story of 'chess playing' vampires ("Oh no, not vampires!" you might say, but hang on, these are real people, not Buffy or Christopher Lee!) gambitting on the board of medieval Europe is one that plays out slowly, like a ball of unravelling string, and the initial murder in Dijon cascades out into a myriad of mini-plots that will have you gripped to your seat. Think 'The Name of the Rose'...but with teeth!
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5.0 out of 5 stars 'Vivid and Vibrant' 17 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
'The words he spoke wove images in the mind more vivid and vibrant than any imagining...' This delightful quote from Bad Bishop sums up one of the most thought-provoking novels I have read for a long time. It is, in turn, a love story, a horror story, a fantasy and a frightening glimpse of how some other world might be, inhabited by ex-mortals of a very different kind. Travel back to A.D 1120 and begin the journey...you'll be glad you did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Epic historical fiction. 4 Nov 2013
By Cherry
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This alternative history chronicles the political rivalry of a special group of beings, once human but now with extraordinary powers and long lives. Almost immortal, the oldest amongst them have seen the Roman civilisation flourish and then fall, while others have their roots in Ancient Greece and even Egypt. Set in Medieval Europe and Norman Britain, it's a story rich in Frankish history and told with passion and wisdom. I fell in love with main characters, Kyrus and Amarante, and enjoyed seeing their love for each other develop as the dramatic story unfolds. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vampires of taste and quality 28 Oct 2013
By Jane Dougherty - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I was given an ARC of Bad Bishop to read, and enjoyed it so much I decided to review it.

First thing that has to be said about this book is that it is not what you might expect. Yes, it is about vampires, but before you get the wrong idea, you must clear from your mind everything you've read or seen about vampires. These are not the Peter Cushing meets Christopher Lee vampires, even less the Klaus Kinsky Nosferatu style of creature. And absolutely NOT in a million years the Twilight variety.
Bad Bishop takes the reader into an alternate early Middle Ages Europe. There are no long drawn out explanations of why or how, we are just there, twelfth century with a culture outside our ken and our history. The scene setting is clear and vivid without the needlessly meticulous detail of some historical novels. So clear that we accept the idea without a murmur that the beings whose story this novel relates are hundreds, if not thousands of years old, whose immortality comes from drinking blood. They are also extremely cultured, sophisticated, and humane in an epoch that had problems with the meaning of the word.
If you are a chess player there is another layer of subtlety that adds to but is not essential to understanding of the plot. What matters is the beautiful writing, the extremely well-crafted story, and Irene Soldatos' profound knowledge of the historical epoch she is writing about.
Bad Bishop is unlike any historical novel I have read before. It is tantalising more than page-turning, the story built up like an elaborate structure rather than a rollercoaster of action. The characters are real and touching in their humanity though few of them are human, and the human characters are made more humane through their contact with these `superior' beings. Bad Bishop is a wonderful story. It's long and there's a section close to the beginning where the pace slows and I wanted to get back to the heroine, but once over this short hump the pace never lets up.
Well worth reading and highly recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical mediaeval mystery tour! 31 Oct 2013
By Wussyboy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
My wife and I read this on another site when it was just a fledgling product. How wonderful to see it now, not only hatched but brought to the fullest fruition of its glorious potential. Bad Bishop is a big book, bordering on an epic, but is so well-written - and so deliciously intricate - that one doesn't just read it, one savours it. The story of 'chess playing' vampires ("Oh no, not vampires!" you might say, but hang on, these are real people, not Buffy or Christopher Lee!) gambitting on the board of medieval Europe is one that plays out slowly, like a ball of unravelling string, and the initial murder in Dijon cascades out into a myriad of mini-plots that will have you gripped to your seat. Think 'The Name of the Rose'...but with teeth!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legend and history in an elegant mix. 4 Mar 2014
By Ektor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It was about time that an author shows up who understands the two most important fundamental rules. You need to know history (and its context) and you need to respect the legend. And Irene Soldatos is well-read on her historical facts and is as respectful as a true believer to the Vampire legend. Now add to the mix chess, politics and maneuvering and you are holding in your hands one of the best books written regarding a never ending myth. Bad Bishop is not what you would expect of a Vampire Book. It is a mystery plot unfolding in masterful ways by its author and a book that is building piece by piece its own setting without traumatizing the lore of the creatures of the night. With its clever twists, the deeply interesting characters to whom you relate to in so many levels, with nothing superficial or extravagant this is a book to read whether you are interested in Vampires and that world of darkness or not. A well deserved well done to Irene Soldatos. Looking forward to reading the next one, hoping that there will be one, that is!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting 18 Feb 2014
By helion - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An engrossing read, with settings and descriptions which feel historically accurate, despite the vampire protagonists. I enjoyed this book immensely, and look forward to a sequel.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading 13 Jan 2014
By Dimitris Tsougarakis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I read this book in hard copy, and I really savoured it. It has an intriguing story - many different pieces which are expertly brought together to form the complete picture; it is skillfully written, in an excellent literary language; and it is amazingly well researched. The setting, the cities, the geography, and the roads of communication of medieval Europe are expertly connected with the plot and keep the reader constantly interested. It is well-thought out and in my view it is excellent reading.
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