Ladyslott's Reviews > The Illuminator

The Illuminator by Brenda Rickman Vantrease
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's review
Jun 18, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2007, audio, england, historical-fiction, religion, romance, medieval, favorite
Read in April, 2007

Set in 14th century England this book is at once a fascinating history lesson, a story of love and betrayal and the consequences of duty.

Lady Kathryn of Blackingham is newly widowed and desperate to hold onto to her lands as a legacy to her sons. Hoping to secure some protection from the all powerful church, Kathryn takes in an illuminator, Finn, who is working on an illustrated copy of the abbot’s newest bible. He brings to live with him his daughter Rose, and also danger, because unbeknownst to Kathryn he is also working on an illuminated copy of John Wycliffe’s translation of the Latin bible into English.

Filled with wonderful secondary characters like Half Tom a courageous dwarf, Agnes the head cook at Blackingham and Kathryn’s confidante, as well as the sons Colin and Alfred, the book is frequently violent and at times heartbreakingly sad. It is at the center, the story of the love between Kathryn and Finn, and how it is often cast aside for duty and obligation. I am looking forward to the sequel of sorts, The Mercy Seller.

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