Unicorns, Emperors and imperial and papal ambitions,
This review is from: The Unicorn Road (Paperback)
What a truly wonderful book - lyrical writing that draws you into a time and places that have for long been blurred in the history of Medieval Europe and the East. In the shadoes is the Emperor Frederick II, Stupor Mundi, who loved knowledge and science and earned the undying enmity of the papacy. This love of knowledge and his father's bestiary seems to be the link to Manfred, who entrusts a scholar with obtaining rare and exotic animals to hopefully buy off the Pope who is encouraging Charles of Anjou to challenge Manfred's right to rule.
On the other side of the known world a young woman is starting a journey of her own.
It is inevitable that the stories will meet somewhere along the way, but what a magical journey you are taken along on the way. The party who accompany the scholar to the East are a mixed bunch; motives are unclear, outcomes murky. And the boy who accompanies them watches as his life is taken more and more beyond his control. The writing of this story is interesting; the boy Benedict, who is integral to many of the characters in the story and certainly the motivation of his father back in Europe, is referred to mainly as "the boy" as if his anonymity to many of the people he is travelling with extends to his name and identity, and the lack of interest they show in his impinging even more on their lives. A group of people who are not all that they seem.
I like the way the writing ranges from the personal to the impersonal; from the deepest thoughts of one character, to the actions of another characters whose motives we cannot at the time see. Highly recommended.