Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and author for my ARC.
I’m not really a big one for medieval books I’ll be honest. However this piqued my interest as a book which focused on crime/thriller but within not only a medieval but religious setting.
I’m really glad I decided to do that. The book follows Brother Athelstan a monk/friar of the Dominican order. It is actually one of a series but it was easy to pick up and can be read as a standalone without any issues.
As well as being a priest, Athelstan works as a secretary or rather assistant to the coroner and assists him in the case of murders. It’s a time of unrest as the child King Richard sits on the throne and his Regent wields power both in England and Spain. When a murderer by the name of Azrael begins garrotting members of the regents secret chancery, Athelstan and co are on the case.
Although one plot makes up the main body of the story there are several interesting sub plots running as well which keep the story interesting. Also, what really sold it to me was that despite staying true and authentic to the period, the author keeps the language simple enough for the modern reader to understand and enjoy. I think that’s really important when writing historical fiction. It stops it from feeling like you’re reading Dickens.
It crossed my mind who the murderer was about 3/4 of the way through but all I’ll say is that I wasn’t ‘exactly’ right.
All in all a surprisingly enjoyable book for a genre I didn’t think I’d like!