- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: William Heinemann (4 Dec. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0434009520
- ISBN-13: 978-0434009527
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.4 x 23.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,853,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Fire In The Flint Paperback – 4 Dec 2003
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THE GRIPPING NEW MEDIEVAL SCOTTISH MYSTERY FROM THE LEADING AUTHOR OF THE GENRE
About the Author
Candace Robb has read and researched medieval history for many years, having studied for a Ph. D in Medieval and Anglo-Saxon Literature. She is also the author of seven Owen Archer novels.
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Top Customer Reviews
Lovers of historical novels may be sufficiently entertained by the period details and more realistic approach to the "Braveheart" figure of William Wallace and his contemporaries. But if, like me, you prefer your historical crime fiction to contain a entertaining *mix* of detective story and convincing historical background, this book is probably not for you.
I would advise to wait patiently for the 9th Owen Archer book "The Guilt of Innocents", which will apparently be published in April 2006 in the UK. If that's too long a wait, you can always go and read the Owen Archer short story called "ï¿½The Bone Jarï¿½" available on Candace Robb's official web page.
I do admire the historical research which went into recreating this place and period; King Edward, Longshanks as he's known, is waging war in a few directions at once, building castles on the Welsh borders while appointing a king of Scotland, to the objections of all the other Scots clans, and taking off to the Continent to pursue claims to parts of France. The ordinary Scots are having a miserable and turbulent time of it, tugged in all directions and with conflicting loyalties under the same roof. In this tale our characters meet such notables as William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.
However, the book is marketed as a crime story. Early on an old man is knocked about in the course of a robbery and he dies. At intervals through the story we get a passage of 'don't forget old Will died; I wonder who did it and what they were after?' The reader soon stops caring. Every page has several different names on it and a discourse on what we'd call history and the characters would call politics or the course of the struggle, with an army moving here and a diatribe on equipping or paying soldiers there.
I would see every reason to write a fictionalised history of this time, but what is given to us does not work, for me. At the end is perhaps the most interesting part, a note from the author about the amount of money, all silver, in circulation at this time in Britain and how the king used almost all of it for his war chest. This is well written, clear and understandable. I'd read more of that, from interest, but I don't think I'll be reading more of this series. Other readers may well love the book.
I started this series as I liked many of the Owen Archer books but it just doesn't work for me. I find it hard to put my finger on quite what is wrong but two areas stand out. Firstly, the murders and solving them seem to get lost in the complex politics of the time. They become stories about those politics rather than crime fiction. Secondly, I can't find any reasonable explanation why the characters take the sides they do in those political struggles. These are not the sort of 'belief' politics we are familiar with but ones based on patronage, networks and related interests. It is not clear how such connections affect the main characters who are merchants in status. So why would Margaret care greatly about which Norman lord is King of Scotland?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You can really feel the books coming alive. Love how she writesPublished 10 months ago by Mama Winters
Very good value for condition, which was exactly as described, if not better. The book is a good read if you like historical who dunnits.Published on 30 Jan. 2014 by Graizby