on 15 July 2002
It is rare these days to read a book that inspires one to further investigate the topics and historical period that it deals with - Cecilia's Vision is such a book. Packed with murder, intrigue, and heresy, it is a brilliant evocation of a lost age, cunningly entwined with a palpable sense of mystery.
The characters are as rich as the mercurial storyline itself; and most importantly it is an enjoyable read!
on 18 June 2001
Having read "Walter and the Resurrection of G" by Tim Armstrong, I was eagerly awaiting another book by him - and was not disappointed. In a sense this book is a sequel to his first as the protaganist of the first, Walter von der Ouwe makes an appearance. But what actually happens is a parallel of the first book, as Cecilia's story is told from her perspective.
One of the things that is so impressive is that this book is obviously written by a story-teller with real and working knowledge of the history and culture of the time in which it is set (12th century Germany and England); but this knowledge is used to colour the narrative, rather than being allowed to dominate. Therefore a real ambience is created in which one believes, rather than being forced to worship at the altar of the author's cleverness. However, it probably helps if you have a little understanding of Qabbalah, Jewish mysticism and mediaeval theology and monasticism.
Most of all, this is a mystery, and I found myself totally absorbed in the book by the story, involved with the characters (which are very sympathetically drawn out for us) and carried through the currents and under-currents of the narrative by the skill and beauty of the prose.
Couldn't really recommend it any more if I tried.
on 27 April 2016
Intricate, detailed, and a sweeping story packed with esoteric knowledge, this is a real achievement. I haven't yet read this author's 'Walter and the Resurrection of G', to which this is apparently a sequel of sorts, but it's next on my list.