Veronica's Reviews > Mistress of the Art of Death

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
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's review
Dec 27, 11

bookshelves: fiction, postal-book-group
Read from December 23 to 27, 2011

I enjoyed this book, although I didn't expect to. It's not a genre I would normally choose, and the recommendations from Kate Mosse and Diana Gabaldon on the cover didn't help :)

A bit too gory in places, but well-written, and though I'm hardly an expert on the 12th century it seemed well-researched. I liked the fact that the characters spoke in a contemporary way (no thees and thous), and the way she worked in quite a lot of social and political background -- for example about the law, the relationship of crown and church, and the Crusades and their effect on relations between Christians and Muslims. Plot-wise, it's a clever mélange of historical whodunnit and modern forensic thriller.

The plot was maybe a bit far-fetched, but I enjoyed the characters, especially Gyltha, Ulf and of course Adelia and Rowley. I found her characterization of Henry II intriguing too, and would have liked to see more of him.
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