4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Sword of Albion,
This review is from: The Sword of Albion: The Sword of Albion Trilogy Book 1 (Sword of Albion Trilogy 1) (Paperback)
This is a swashbuckling, supernatural Elizabethan spy story. Will Swyfte is England's greatest spy. He and his fellows work for Walsingham, supposedly fighting the Spanish, but in fact set against the shadowy Enemy. A malevolent force that has been terrorising the country for centuries.
The story is full of danger and intrigue, there's plenty of excitement and decent twists and turns along the way. Initially I thought it was a straightforward historical adventure with a sinisiter supernatural element - which I'm all for, historical fantasy is a favourite subgenre of mine. Towards the end I felt as though the story was going deeper, exploring the morality of what initially seemed to be a black and white conflict, and also examining how even monsters can be useful allies.
As well as the usual period touchstones (Dee the magician, the Spanish Armada, Christopher Marlowe, and of course Elizabeth herself) the story travels outside England to neighbouring Scotland and antagonistic Spain. I was pleased to see that we meet James VI of Scotland (later James I of England) before Elizabeth I ever appears - but I'm a sucker for Stuart history.
The alternative title is 'The Silver Skull', which makes sense as that's the central mcguffin. Then again if you are going to use 'Sword of Albion' - the rarely-used name for Walsingham's spies- you would use it for the British version.