28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Relics of the Dead (Mistress of the Art of Death 3) (Paperback)
Ariana Franklin's Mistress of The Art of Death series has got to be one of the best around. I've read all three and have found them entertaining and have never been disappointed. In the third, Relics of The Dead, Adelia has moved on from the Cambridgeshire Fens to Glastonbury, where she is investigating the appearance of two skeletons, believed to be those of King Arthur and Guinevere. Naturally things are not what they seem.
The series has attracted a great deal of criticism, due mainly to Adelia's anachronistic traits. Yes she does have some feminist ideals that don't sit well in twelth century England, but she was brought up in a different culture by 'enlightened' parents. I find it incredibly hard to believe that feminism suddenly appeared from nowhere in the late ninteenth century - keep in mind women such as Aphra Behn and Mary Wollstoncraft, both pre-19th century, both with feminist leanings. There have always been people ahead of their time, otherwise the human race would have never moved on.
As to the cleanliness issue, there was actually a physician practising in fourteenth century Nottingham, called John of Aderne, who used anaesthetics and believed in good hygiene, long before Florence Nightingale was even heard of.
I'm not suggesting that this series is perfect and with any book it's very much about personal taste, but if you enjoy interesting well rounded characters and good plots that contain both serious issues and humour, then give these a try.