5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Beautifully Written, Provocative New Novel from an Expert Author of Historical Fiction,
This review is from: The Noble Assassin (Paperback)
Christie Dickason's distinctive voice speaks eloquently in her fine new historical novel, The Noble Assassin. Reading along, it is such a pleasure to encounter Dickason's vibrant metaphors, stunning turns of phrase and poetic expression of insight into creature delights and inexorable disappointments as she conjures her brilliant and dynamic 17th century heroine, Lucy Russell, Countess of Bedford. Author and subject are totally at one in this story of love and power, loss and longing, and murderous intrigue at the court or King James I. An experienced practitioner of the form, this go around Dickason's narrative is powered by an evocative, cinematic technique as the action regularly flashes forward and back again in a manner that is both deft and compelling as an earlier Dickason heroine, Princess Elizabeth (The King's Daughter), is woven into the gripping plot. Dickason, ever the adept storyteller, is masterful at evoking the lives and spirit of early modern England. She has a stunning (uncanny, really) sense of place. The detail and accuracy with which Dickason writes makes you believe that you are there at Whitehall Palace, walking the streets of Stuart London, punting on the Thames, sitting by the hearth at Bedford House or enjoying the gardens created by Lucy in an age gone by. As a wordsmith, this writer has an acute ear for period dialogue. Dickason's characters out of history are vivid people of the flesh, not biographical archetypes. Her Lucy Russell is a woman possessed of a superior intellect and drive: frustrated assets in a doggedly man's world. Trapped in a hapless marriage, Lucy is determined to escape her predicament and the limitations imposed on her sex. Clever and beautiful, she has the wits and charms to overcome dangerous, even deadly circumstances, as well as the wit and charm to be a formidable match to the greatest thinker of her generation - the poet, John Donne; were Lucy a man, Dickason posits, her verse would be known to the world today as equal to his. The Noble Assassin is the story of the personal agency of an extraordinary woman whose life and loves Christie Dickason consummately restores to cultural memory, inviting us to ponder tantalizing what ifs.