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Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Medieval Ages Meet CSI


I LOVE this book.  I really like science and I like reading about the times of kings and queens or fantasy lands of kings and queens, so I knew I had to read this book and I was not disappointed. 

Mistress of the Art of Death (Mistress of the Art of Death Series #1) by Ariana Franklin: Book CoverAdelia Aguilar is trained by her unconventional adoptive parents in the science of forensics, in other words "the art of death".  She is summoned to England by King Henry II (after he has taken his lashes for the death of Thomas a Becket).  Several children have been killed and the townspeople are blaming the local Jews.  King  wants to Jews exonerated so he can keep collecting taxes from them.  However, as hard as that task may sound it's even trickier because she is a woman.  She must convey her findings through a man in order to avoid accusations of witchcraft.  Thus, a thrilling suspenseful story ensues.

I also enjoyed the mix of true characters and events Franklin includes in the story.

Now, I normally cannot handle much violence in books, especially when it involves women and children.  I read River God by Wilbur Smith.  Good book.  After reading that, I figured I could handle more than I thought, but then with Kite Runner, I couldn't even read up to chapter 2.  So, what I'm saying is this:  Yes, we know there have been children murdered.  We get information as to how they were killed and the end is a bit violent and a little grotesque, but it's quick.  I don't think it would bother most people at all, but since I'm really sensitive to that stuff, I always feel I need to let people know so they can decide if it's okay for them.  I figure if I can handle them 98% of people won't have a problem with it.  I was very motivated to read this book and that my have helped me just get past the short gruesomes.

I like this book so much, I've recommended it to many people.  Everyone has really really liked it, but one, who said it was okay.  I read this book during the summer and I will admit that I wanted to know who the killer was so badly, I put a movie in for my kids, got them a treat, told them to just watch the movie and enjoy their food, all so I could read and find out who-dun-it.  I do not usually do that type of thing at all!!

I was thrilled when I found out the book was the first of a series.  The fourth book just came out in paperback recently.  I've enjoyed the other books in this series as well.  The second one is probably my least favorite, though I still really liked it, and I have not yet read the fourth.  I'm starting this week, which inspired me to write this blog post.  Here is a list of the other books in the series so far.  (The second book happens within a year of the first book.  The third and fourth books happen several years after their predecessor.)

The Serpant's Tale-involves King Henry II mistress, Rosamond
Grave Goods-has the grave of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere been discovered or is the fabled King still alive as some hope?
A Murderous Procession-Adelia accompanies King Henry II's daughter to Sicily for her wedding

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it is a great book! I have the second one to read....someday :)