Friday, 13 March 2009

Review – Peter TREMAYNE – “The Council of the Cursed”

Publ: 2008
Pensby Library
ISBN: 978 0 7553 2840 6
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 308p
Found by Serendipity
Rating: ***** **

What led you to pick up this book?
It was on the ‘New Books’ shelf in the library. Being subtitled ‘a novel of Ancient Ireland it automatically caught my eye. However – it turned out not to be a novel of ancient Ireland – a case for the Trades Descriptions Act???

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
Sister Fidelma – a lawgiver of ancient Ireland – and her partner, the Saxon Eadulf, are in France attending a council of church leaders set in AD670. When one of the delegates is murdered the Bishop of the segregated abbey suspends the rules to allow Fidelma into the men’s part to investigate. Not only do further murders follow but a number of the female members of the abbey also disappear.

What did you think of the characters?
The characters are well-delineated and there is an adequate mixture of villains and apparently good-guys to make the real villains not easy to spot.

What did you think about the style?
I loved the plentiful Latin tags but I suspect they might be a bit OTT to some people. Overall I found some of the narrative a bit stilted.

What did you like most about the book?
It was a good mystery.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?
I would have rather it had been set in Ireland, as advertised, rather than in France.

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
Good art work. But it lied!

Would I recommend it?
Just about – not the nest book I have read from that era but I enjoyed the mystery. although it is set nearly a millennium later I prefer Cora Harrison’s Burren series with the Brehon Mara.

“Every wise man in courteous, every idiot is a bully.”
“Fidelma was able to identify the pungent smell of rosemary. She had encountered the unusual fragrance in Rome and had especially asked what it was, with its trailing green foliage and purple, pink or blue flowers. she had been told it was called ‘dew of the sea’ – rosmarinus – and had discovered that apothecaries used it to help improve the memory.”

PETER TREAMAYNE (b 1943) is a pseudonym of Peter Beresford Ellis, an authority on the ancient Celtic peoples.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hello folks - your comments are always welcome.