Dr. John Dee, this book can only add to his reputation in showing him as; not just the most learned man of his time but, as a human who, like the rest of us can make some stupendous mistakes in the choices made. He was a man well ahead of his time, and the most knowledgable in diametrically opposed subjects. Phil Rickman has worked his magic in this book on Dr. John Dee; A truely stimulating and thought provoking subject.
But brilliant, exciting and a real page turner. Phil Rickman really knows how to tell a story. I'm not a fan of historical fiction, but I've read some of Phil's Merrily Watkins books so I gave it a try - very glad I did.
This book is the second in Phil Rickman's Dr John Dee series. Dee is the astrologer to Elizabeth I, curious individual, and lover of all things magical/mystical. It is this love of all things mystical that leads Dee to travel to the Welsh boarders (Rickman's favourite setting) in search of an orb/focus, that might allow See to commune with spirits.
It's not a bad read, but it's intrinsically a bit daft. I found the story about the "eccentric beliefs" and history of the Welsh at the times was a bit interesting (it's a work of fiction, but I assume it's based on something), but the beliefs were... silly, and because of it, I found some of the story a bit daft
Please read my review on the Bones of Avalon, also by the same author. This is more of the same infantile-adventure-tosh. The Heresy of Dr Dee is set during the reign of Elizabeth I. It's the second book revolving around Phil Rickman's haplessly annoying Dr. Dee. Instead of seeking King Arthur's bones, this time the story sees him off on another Enid-Blyton-esque adventure, initially with his friend Robert Dudley (who became 1st Earl of Leicester). Dudley is portrayed as a type of brooding, womanising rock-star aristocrat, whose personality pulses with violence just beneath the skin whilst Dee is cast in the role of a near-penniless mystically-educated halfwit. Johnny Dee and Robby Dudley always seem to play together and so here their latest adventure witnesses them searching a town on the Anglo-Welsh border, looking for a particular 'shewstone' (an archaic term meaning a magic (?) crystal ball used to 'scry' or perceive ' the 'hidden' and summon spirits and angels, etc.). Dee has to deal with Dudley's disappearance, his own confusions about life (this one and the next) ethnic predjudices, post-Marion religious fears, history repeating itself, con-artists (who you'll find yourself rooting for), simmering native violence, a one-eyed 'hero,' a Dr Dee sexual mini adventure (easily forgotten), a dubious, perhaps rigged courtroom drama (that wasn't dramatic), a murder plot that might or might not involve Robert Dudley's wife Amy and a young half-mad boy who possesses, apparently, genuine divining skills. To be fair, the writing style was ever so slightly more fluid than Bones of Avalon but there was simply no real story. Nothing existed in the yarn that engaged the reader's interest. Even though the author offers a plethora of underwhelming two-dimensional characters (all who would have done Enid Blyton very proud), by the time I finished it I could almost see Johnny Dee and Robby Dudley returning home, safe and sound, just in time to wash their hands before having a scrummy tea - no doubt complete with ham rolls and jam tarts. There was precious little 'dark heresy' to redeem this sad little meandering tale that ultimately, apart from the English-Welsh border, went nowhere at all. Save your money and borrow it or buy it second-hand if you must read it.