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The Rose Labyrinth [Hardcover]

Titania Hardie
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Mar 2008

An enthralling novel of mystery, adventure and romance

Before his death in 1609, the brilliant Elizabethan spy, astrologer and mathematician John Dee hid many of his papers, believing that the world was not prepared for the ideas they held. In spring 2003, Dees many times great granddaughter and final holder of the secret was forced to pass the enigmatic legacy to one of her two sons. Diana chose her passionate, tempestuous younger boy, leaving a tiny silver key with a note: For Will, when he is something, or someone, that he is not now.

Summer 2003: While seriously ill Lucy King awaits heart surgery in London, Will travels Europe seeking to decipher the clues in the ancient document, and find a lock to fit the key. It is a search which will leave him and Lucy inextricably linked. But Will is not the only one trying to reach the truth at the heart of the Rose Labyrinth

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (6 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755344561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755344567
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 15.2 x 4.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 980,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A gripping and adventurous tale...bewitching' (Woman)

'Pacy action...a real page-turner' (Bath Chronicle)

'Packed with well-researched references this literary labyrinth never fails to surprise and entertain...a fascinating debut' (North West Evening Mail)

'A fascinating fictional debut' (Irish Examiner)

'A compelling page-turner' (Bolton Evening News)

'Part thriller, part historical novel and part treasure hunt, this is a compelling page-turner' (Glasgow Evening Times)

'Sydney's Titania Hardie is a student of esoteria and her studies into Renaissance and Elizabethan magi such as Giardano Bruno and John Dee provide a solid and compelling framework for this novel' (Herald Sun, Melbourne)

'Packed with well-researched references, this literary labyrinth never fails to surprise and entertain as the reader and characters embark on a thrilling adventure... A fascinating debut' (Eastern Daily Press)

'Titania Hardie is a student of esoteria and her studies into Renaissance and Elizabethan magi such as Giordano Bruno and John Dee provide a solid and compelling framework for this novel' (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)

Book Description

A unique debut novel and puzzle, of mystery, adventure and revelation from a hugely popular non-fiction writer

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Badly written mish-mash 2 Feb 2010
I normally enjoy this sort of escapist fiction:all ancient codes and secret knowledge etc. But this book is really badly written. The story does not flow at all. The characters are ridiculous.
As another reviewer has noted they all seem to know about Shakespeare, Renaissance politics and religion the caballa etc etc. and they drop these subjects into their casual conversation!. For example-'Lucy rolled her eyes with humour 'Alex that's very interesting but please don't sidetrack me-we're coming to the essence of the excitement about cabbalistic doctrine'. This conversation happens as they are driving to a romantic birthday lunch!
There are pages and pages of lectures on different arcane subjects. There are 4 pages of authors acknowledgements at the back-always a bad sign I think. The more 'thank-yous' at the back the worse the book I find.
A more skilful author might have been able to do something with the plot but Titania Hardie is not that author. She cannot write dialogue or create realistic characters.

Thankfully I got it from the library so I didn't waste any money.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Painful 2 May 2008
By Me read TOP 500 REVIEWER
The Hardback edition looks beautiful, that's probably the only positive thought I have about The Rose Labyrinth. Well, maybe that the title has a nice ring to it, but thats the only other thing I can think of.

It's a fairly lengthy novel, but those are the only 2 positives I can come up with.

What does that tell you?

I wasn't that interested in finding out where things were headed for the characters and I didn't connect with any of them. Actually, by the time I had struggled to the end I found myself disliking all of them, without exception. I didn't like it. I didn't care about what happened. I didn't believe in any of it. The one and only reason I limped towards the end was that all the way through I had been told to expect some major 'event' that was just on the horizon and it was going to be epic...except it wasn't. I felt cheated. Even the Heroine in the story got to the end and said "It's a swizz!" Honestly, it would be laughable if it wasn't the truth. Even the characters feel cheated!

Ms Hardie has thrown everything she can think of at the pages of this story and it has resulted in a a jumbled mess of facts and figures. The whole book smacks of being used to illustrate how clever the authoress thinks she is. It's self-indulgence at it's worst.

It's dire. I'm sorry, but it really is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read 2 Nov 2013
By Jules
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting book mixture of fact and fiction with a compelling stortyline would look out for others to read by this author
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 16 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It tries to be lots of different things yet doesn't succeed at any of them. The characters lack depth and interest and the puzzles are glossed over, which is such a shame as it has the potential to be a far more interesting read.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time 18 Mar 2010
I had not heard of this book when I bought it in an over-priced booksellers in France but the plot outlined on the back cover seemed interesting and so I took the plunge. Ever minute I spent reading it was a waste of time and could have been better spent reading something like Hello magazine!

John Dee is a fascinating character and the idea of a link between the 16th century and the present day attracted me to this novel. However, the writing was poor, the dialogue false and the characters stereotyped and shallow. In particular, I found the theme of the story convoluted with superflous details about religion and science that added nothing to the plot and were so badly explained that they did not even add to my general knowledge.

I have read quite a few novels of this genre but I have to say that this is probably the worst one of its type. Believe the overwhelming negative reviews on Amazon and do not read this book.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Refund my time and money PLEASE!! 17 Jun 2010
Badly written, slow going, and non existent plot are all terms that could be described as an understatement when used to describe this book...
Being a history student, I'm partial to the odd quick read that I can fit in around my studies, and this seemed to be it. Oh boy, how wrong I was... Although the book seemed to get off to a good start, it quickly appeared that the time spent reading this was definately not well spent.
Ms Hardie has created something that even a failing student would surpass! The prose was awful, with the dialogue between each character becoming more unrealistic as the book went on. Moreover the book was slow, with the plot either dragging or losing its' way entirely, and the characters completely forgettable. In fact, she had managed to kill off the most interesting character right at the beginning, and give away the transplant twist that would have slightly rescued this dire excuse for a book.
And I am still left wondering: what on earth happened at the end, and was it supposed to be of ANY significance to the rest of the book at all?!

A word to future readers; PLEASE believe the reviews and give this a miss. If you want a cheap holiday/travel read then look elsewhere on the shelf!

I would be most pleased if Ms Hardie would kindly drop by and give me her contact details as I would quite like the time and money (that would have obviously been much better spent on 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' - a book that makes more sense and has prose of a much higher standard) refunded. And a note to promise that she will retire from writing such drivel for eternity - which I'm sure many other people will appreciate!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Another unusual story
Fascinating how authors dream up their ideas...this is a closely interwoven tale - so close that you sometimes have to go back and reread bits because you've missed a crucial... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jenny
2.0 out of 5 stars A difficult read.
For once I am in agreement with the other reviewers; this is a hard book to slog through. On the surface it seems to be a good idea and promises a challenging read. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Wendy McFarlane
2.0 out of 5 stars I've read a lot worse, but that doesn't excuse this
Characterisation: not so much wooden as plastic.

Motivations: irritatingly one-dimensional. Read more
Published on 29 Jan 2012 by Matt Westwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful clever story
I am shocked that this book has disappointed some people. I came online to highly recommend it. This story deals with the themes of genetic memory and the transfer of understanding... Read more
Published on 17 Sep 2011 by Mary
1.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to follow
I got this book as a gift - the beautiful hardback edition with the little inserts so you could follow what was going on and try to work out the clues. Read more
Published on 29 July 2011 by Ash
5.0 out of 5 stars A Worthwhile recommendation
Because I love Dan Brown's books, my sister recommended The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie. It's full of riddles and twists and turns and beautifully written in an easy going... Read more
Published on 12 Feb 2011 by Anne Broad
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst book I've ever read!!
I read EVERY day...seriously EVERY day, about 6 hours total a day...I'm 30 years old and have read 1000's and 1000's of books. THIS IS THE WORST BOOK I HAVE EVER IN MY LIFE READ. Read more
Published on 11 Nov 2010 by susanefird
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant service
Excellent service. The book arrived quickly and in perfect condition. So not only was the price great but the seller could not improve on the service.
Published on 9 May 2010 by H. Kendall
1.0 out of 5 stars And what exactly happened at the end??
I have just finished this appallingly bad excuse for a book, wondering what exactly happened at the end. Read more
Published on 2 May 2010 by Inspector Dobermann
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