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Firedrake's Eye, Patricia Finney

LoisAnn
Reader
Location: Marlow, Oklahoma

Firedrake's Eye, Patricia Finney

Postby LoisAnn » Tue August 26th, 2008, 4:20 pm

I *loved* this book! It absolutely does take a bit of concentration and effort to get all the characters and various plotlines lined out ... but once that is done (1st 50 or so pages), then away we go.

The mystery is very well-developed and the writing is almost lyrical. (Ms. Finney knows thing or two about stringing words together!) In terms of writing style & complexity, I would loosely compare Ms. Finney with Dorothy Dunnett (Lymond Chronicles).

She does a masterful job of setting her scenes, some of which will stay with you long after the book is gone - one that leaps immediately to mind involved "Harry Hunks" a kind-of-tame bear used in bear baiting entertainments for the London populace. Not only is the scene vividly written, it's also quite humorous! (Not to give anything away, but the bear is not hurt and actually becomes a bit of a hero.)

I adore the main character - David Becket - a master swordsman/teacher who has a dry, cynical view of the world, but remains a patriot and a true, trustworthy friend to those deemed deserving of such loyalty.

The book is set in Elizabethan England with all the glory at the top and squalor at the bottom that these times were rife with. It was particularly interesting to me to read about the art of intelligence-gathering in these days. None of today's spy agencies have a thing over Lord Walsingham and his network of informants and spies! AND, it was all done without the aid of computers and cell phones!

Highest recommendation for anyone looking for an intelligent, complex, well-written Elizabethan mystery.
I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. ~ Charles de Secondat

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