Customer Review

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU CAN NOT BEAT A GOOD STAKE, 26 Jun 2010
This review is from: The Blood of Alexandria (Aelric 3) (Hardcover)
This is my first outing with Richard Blake Aelric,the young British clark who has become a senator and trusted henchman of Emperor Heracluis and i found that it kept me page turning all the way to the end of this politcal intrigue in 612AD Egypt.The one character i was not sure of was the Mistress who seem to float through the story but was not notice by anyone except Aelric and who had powers that seem to take us into the world of fantasy.The man who i grew to like was Priscus,the old enemy from Constantinopl who has a drug habit and a passion for a nice stake,but not all ways on the plate,which along with his pet cat,was not unlike that of a Bond villain.I also throught the Amazon Nuns was a nice touch in the final outcome,so perhaps not so far from fantasy.So to sum up,a good read that makes me want to explore the first two books by Blake and the ending leads one to believe we will have more adventures with Aelric yet to come.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Jul 2010 06:39:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Jul 2010 22:35:14 BDT
Selene says:
I'm going with the theory that the Mistress is an incarnation of Isis, by tradition a Veiled Goddess and associated with Alexandria (Cleopatra VII was a priestess of Isis). The full force of the divine countenance would be too much for a mortal to withstand - hence the stricture that "no man may see my face and live". Typically, though, Aelric manages to catch a glimpse and more! I loved the bulimic warrior nuns as well, and why not? We've had an overdose of warrior monks in historical fiction in recent years, after all :) Wonderful series.

Richard Blake's work reminds me of that brilliant but now mostly forgotten British author, Henry Treece. A scholar well versed in the classics, his vivid novels set in antiquity reek with sex, blood and a violence at times almost apocalyptic in scale, and are filled with cynicism and anarchic black humour. However his protagonists, like Amleth in "The Green Man", although flawed, do display occasional redeeming flashes of nobility.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jul 2010 12:09:04 BDT
Alternatively, the Mistress might be Ayesha (She Who Must be Obeyed) from H. Rider Haggard's "She".

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jul 2010 13:06:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 13 Sep 2010 08:36:11 BDT
By the way, has anyone noticed what the Latin name is for St Artemisia - she of the bulimic nuns?

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jul 2010 21:50:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Jul 2010 00:44:05 BDT
Selene says:
Hey - I hadn't thought of the terrible yet seductive Ayesha, Rider Haggard's immortal sorceress, but she was Egyptian originally, wasn't she? It would also solve the mystery of the "one" the Mistress was searching for - the reincarnation of her lover, the Egyptian priest, Kallikrates. I loved Rider Haggard's books when I was a kid.
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