Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Armor of Light ” as Want to Read:
The Armor of Light
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Armor of Light

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  127 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
A Battle of Wizardy From a History Not Quite Our Own...

The heavy summer air of 1593 is full of portents for Elizabeth, England's Queen, and James VI, King of Scotland. A coven of witches secretly controlled by the Wizard Earl of Bothwell has summoned a storm to sink the ship that bears James' bride to Scotland. Though the ship made port, the su
Hardcover, 393 pages
Published October 15th 1997 by New England Science Fiction Association (first published 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Armor of Light, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Armor of Light

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 326)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
As many other alternative history works of fiction this book is set in England during the reign of Elizabeth the Great. It was the brightest and yet the most putrid age of British history, a time when history itself could have changed its course: it did, but unfortunately only to a certain extent.
It cannot be a mere chance that so many authors choose this age for their alternative history novels: so many opportunities to make the western world a different place have been wasted then.
(One could a
In this alternate history tale, Sir Philip Sidney didn't die at the Battle of Zutphen, and is instead Queen Elizabeth's champion. He is sent to Scotland to defend King James from Bothwell's witchcraft. With him comes Kit Marlowe, whose life he saved in 1593 and who has continued to spy for Walsingham. Five hundred pages later, Sidney and Marlowe defeat Bothwell using some bible verses. The writing is so repetitive, the magic so deus ex machina, that I could barely finish this.

The authors clearly
This is a very entertaining historical fantasy set in an alternate magical Elizabethan England. In this world, Sir Philip Sidney did not die after the battle of Zutphen; he recovered from his wounds and lived to save Christopher Marlowe's life at the tavern in Deptford. When the Wizard Earl of Bothwell threatens James VI of Scotland with deadly magic, Elizabeth of England sends Sidney to defend him; Robert Cecil sends Marlowe along to spy, whereupon Marlowe is also pulled into the magical battle ...more
Alt-history Elizabethan fantasy starring several people who apparently technically should have been dead at the time (I knew about Marlowe but not anyone else). It was a good read, and I enjoyed seeing magic interwoven with history, but there were way, way too many unexpected POV shifts. Like, sometimes in the middle of a paragraph. It's good -- especially if you liked the Points books, I think -- but a little slow, and honestly I was kind of expecting it to, uh, go there. With Marlowe and the d ...more
Jan 17, 2016 Drianne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, historical
I definitely liked it. It wasn't anywhere near as good as the Points books, but it was really interesting to see some of the things from those being developed here. I liked that it was a 'real' historical setting (with magic). I adored Kit Marlowe (duh). I wasn't as thrilled with some of the side plots, and the POV switching was super-irritating. I didn't want it to end (though by the time it did, the story more than needed to have come to some sort of climax.

...Since Marlowe, well, you know. Di
Alma Southmayd
Though it has been many years since I read this book, I do remember that I liked it quite a bit. And I wondered if the authors set any more books in this universe.
Jan 15, 2014 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, favourites, read-2014
The wonderfully skilled writing team of Melissa Scott and the late Lisa A. Barnett has created a compelling alternate history novel, set in an Elizabethan age where Sir Philip Sidney and Christopher Marlowe escaped their historical deaths and are sent by the queen to Scotland in order to quell a dark, sorcerous power threatening her chosen heir, the king of Scots. Filled with magic and intrigue, this densely woven and brilliantly written book is an absolute delight to read.
This was a re-read from several years ago. The plot is only slightly less convoluted on the second try (I still attribute that to the book having two authors- each had plot twists they refused to surrender), but knowing what was coming allowed me to see the characters in a little more detail. As a fan of Christopher Marlowe's works, I'm a sucker for a story where he lived a longer life, especially one so full of intrigue.
Jun 13, 2010 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alternate history with fantasy elements in which Sir Philip Sidney and Christopher Marlowe dodge their respective historical deaths and join forces to combat Lord Bothwell. An excellent read which I always hoped would have a sequel.
To reread, in the brand-new Kindle edition, now that I've become madly besotted with Melissa Scott and all her works.
Aug 16, 2010 Joseph rated it really liked it
Fun alternate history of the end of Elizabeth I's reign with magic and religion intermingling.
Mar 20, 2013 Tracy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
One of my very favorite historical fantasy books ever.
Cindy Toy
Cindy Toy is currently reading it
Sep 23, 2016
HarlotRusse marked it as to-read
Sep 22, 2016
Jennifer marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2016
Michaela marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2016
Rebecca Baldwin
Rebecca Baldwin rated it really liked it
Sep 17, 2016
Jenn rated it liked it
Sep 12, 2016
Jen rated it really liked it
Sep 02, 2016
Jun marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2016
Chloe marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2016
Kindlehime marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2016
Claudio Garcia
Claudio Garcia is currently reading it
Aug 20, 2016
Kate  K. F.
Kate K. F. marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2016
Shana marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2016
Jana McRae
Jana McRae rated it liked it
Aug 07, 2016
Miss Ginny Tea
Miss Ginny Tea marked it as to-read
Aug 03, 2016
pml added it
Aug 02, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Wind in Cairo
  • The Crown of Silence (The Chronicles of Magravandias, #2)
  • The Shadow of Albion (Carolus Rex, #1)
  • The Rifter Book One: The Shattered Gates (Rifter #1-3)
  • Teot's War (The Song of Naga Teot, #1)
  • Cyrion
  • Dark Cathedral (Dark Cathedral, #1)
  • Unicorn and Dragon (Unicorn and Dragon, #1)
  • At the Queen's Command (Crown Colonies, #1)
  • The Stars Dispose
  • The Tempering of Men (Iskryne World, #2)
  • Hell and Earth (Promethean Age, #4)
  • Casket of Souls (Nightrunner, #6)
  • Damiano (Damiano, #1)
Scott studied history at Harvard College and Brandeis University, and earned her PhD. in comparative history. She published her first novel in 1984, and has since written some two dozen science fiction and fantasy works, including three co-authored with her partner, Lisa A. Barnett.

Scott's work is known for the elaborate and well-constructed settings. While many of her protagonists are gay, lesbia
More about Melissa Scott...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »