0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Intriguing medieval mystery,
This review is from: A Burnable Book (John Gower 1) (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
'The Burnable Book' of the title is a book of prophesies that has, it is believed, accurately foretold the death of twelve English kings, and young Richard II will probably be the thirteenth. The story is set in the 14th century and begins when Geoffrey Chaucer commissions one John Gower, a poet and trader in secrets amongst other things, to find the book. In his quest the book takes him from Westminster to the vile, stinking alleyways of Southwark and beyond. Danger, subterfuge, death and destruction follow him on his journey.
A list of characters prefaces the story, to which the reader needs to refer to from time to time otherwise it can be easy to get confused as to who is who, where they are from, and how they fit into the story.
The story itself is mainly set in and around London and Southwark, but Oxford and Florence, and as the story progresses we find out more who can and who cannot be trusted amongst the major players.
Previous reviewers have gone into great depth to explain much of the story, but I prefer to offer the bare bones and let any potential reader flesh them out for themselves.
At times the author does tend to get bogged down in detail, which I suppose is inevitable since he is an eminent scholar of medieval history. This is a pity in some ways, because at times there is too much detail and not enough action. However, for a first novel this is a really good effort, I just wish it could have been shorter, since that would have added to my enjoyment and hence my reason for only awarding it four stars.