Firedrake's Eye Paperback – 5 Aug 2004
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Intelligent thriller with likeable heroes, nail-biter plot... Intelligent thriller first, historical novel second, this underrated novel concerns a Day of the Jackal-style assassination plot on the life of Queen Elizabeth I. Our heroes, clever Simon Ames and bear-like ex-mercenary Becket, try to read the clues that will lead to a dangerous assassin consistently one step ahead of them. Patricia Finney's grasp of historical detail is sufficiently good for London to never quite seem the same again after reading about its dank alleyways and filthy taverns four centuries ago. But Finney's real strength is her set-pieces - a swordfight on Bankside interrupted by a performing bear; Simon Ames hanging onto London Bridge for dear life as a pikeman swipes at him, the river rushing below; and best of all the climactic final scene and denouement.
Comparisons have been made with Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose but Firedrake's Eye is more of a straight-up, classy detective novel - Ian Rankin with doublets, perhaps? -- email@example.com Richard Goff from London
A riveting Elizabethan thriller from a highly talented authorSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
That is not to say the former category is any less good, on the contrary. With me it just depends on the mood I'm in: sometimes I'll just want to 'sit back, relax and enjoy the ride', and at other times the need to take notes, re-read passages to make sure I've understood them fully, look up references and generally sort of struggle with a book to have it release its full meaning adds to the pleasure.
But to return to "Firedrake's eye": if you make the effort this is a cracking good read. The plot is complicated to say the least (I'm sure surviving in a court as riddled with intrigue as Elizabeth's was too), the language dense and compact but by the same token poetical and highly charged with meaning, and Finney brings to life Elizabethan London in a very colourful way. If you liked "Firedrake's eye" by all means read "Unicorn's blood" and "Gloriana's torch" as well, they both are as good.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Despite its beautiful eye-catching and brightly coloured embossed cover, I simply could not get into this. Read morePublished on 4 Oct. 2008 by FAMOUS NAME