9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Phil Rickman's fabulously daring Dr. Dee,
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This review is from: The Bones of Avalon (Paperback)
'The Bones of Avalon' is priceless, a keeper, this is why I had to buy the hardback copy; it will be read to bits over the coming years. I love historical novels when they are well written, Ellis Peters, Umberto Eco, Samson, Peter Tremayne et al. I especially love history, so after reading non-fiction books it is an absolute delight to be able to walk through the medieval streets via Phil Rickman's graphic narratives and share the adventures of his characters. Who could forget the opening scene, with its undercurrent of shock, as Dee witnesses the unfolding of the wrapped object, after its removal from the coffin on the quayside.
Rickman's Dr. Dee is a truth seeker, a keen observer and an analyst, and once he is on the trail of a mystery, he means to see it though to its conclusion, and oh my, what adventures he has along the way. The Bones of Avalon is a tremendously satisfying read on many different levels; social, political, historical, murder, intrigue, suspense, folklore and so on. Various aspects reflect everyday life - where there are many different onion-layers of complexity. The novel is a living, albeit fictional, tribute to Dee. The characters are well-rounded, they live and breathe and you want to spend time with them.
Their environment is also well described; you might find you are picking your steps through the street for a while after reading this book. Or looking at well known houses with the realisation that certain events are based on the truth, and you now feel privy to it - even if this is a pun on the preceding sentence.
Court intrigues and the threat these brought to people's lives were captured perfectly. Whispering corridors still exist today so it is fascinating to be carried back in time to find that, in some respects, some things never change. As usual, with Phil's outstanding narratives, we were right there and what a brilliant ride through Elizabethan times with the fabulously daring Dr Dee. Please, please, please Mr. Rickman, may we have a sequel - or three or four or more?
If you like The Bones of Avalon, Phil Rickman's Merrily Watkins series is also well worth checking out, it is about a contemporary crime solver who is just as remarkable in her own way. I have read all this wonderfully accomplished mystery series to date, and they gave me another great reason to read The Bones of Avalon.