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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!
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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.
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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.
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on 4 March 2002
Completely enthralling book that takes you into mediaeval Canterbury, the Templars and dirty deeds. The plot is complex but completely convincing and full of colourful characters and historical detail. The story races along. I can't understand why this book is not more widely known.
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