Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: mediaeval
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
review 2020-05-29 17:26
An Excellent Mystery by Ellis Peters
An Excellent Mystery - Ellis Peters

An Excellent Mystery by Ellis Peters


Series: Cadfael #11


This is an unusual Cadfael in that the mystery is in the form of a missing person rather than a body that someone stumbles across. I wasn’t sure what to rate it because although I did figure it out fairly early on, I wasn’t sure how my theory could work, and I didn’t know if I was right. Overall I did enjoy the read but I’m not sure if my figuring it out so early was expected or a good thing. I mean, it’s fun when you can guess or try to guess the solution to the mystery rather just having the solution handed to you at a platter at the end, but I’m not sure whether I was supposed to figure it out so soon. Things did work out rather neatly but that’s the way Ellis Peters liked to write these. They’re basically cozy historical mysteries.


Previous updates:

25 %

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-25 00:16
A Distant Mirror by Barbara W. Tuchman (audiobook)
A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century - Barbara W. Tuchman,Nadia May

Well, that was a long haul, but I don't regret the journey.


This is basically an overview of France, England, and other parts of Europe in the 14th century as it follows the ancestors and life of Enguerrand VI de Coucy. It's not exactly a biography, but it uses de Coucy's life to provide human interest and a way to structure Tuchman's history of the 14th century. Enguerrand de Coucy was an important man in France and married the king of England's daughter, so he moved in powerful circles.


I was worried that I might have made a mistake in choosing the audio for this but Nadia May is a great narrator and although lots and lots of information was thrown at me, I feel like I got something out of it. Audio still might not be the best way to go but even in print this book would have been long. As it should be, since it covers an entire century. It's like writing a history of the 20th century, but with more interpretation and fewer primary sources.


Anyway, some of the things that I got out of it were a better understanding of the different religious movements from that era and the general religious environment, a better understanding of chivalric romances, a better understanding or mediaeval attitudes, and lots of stuff about war at the time. I'm not sure how much of it will stick with me, but a reread eventually wouldn't be out of the question. There was certainly a lot of information to try to absorb, and some of it was a bit dry but overall it was quite interesting.


The 14th century was also the time of the schism of the two popes, so that part was entertaining. Tuchman starts into the 15th century and some of the changes that came about then but maintains her focus by contrasting it with the 14th century. This book was written 40 years ago but it seems to have aged fairly well.


Previous updates:

41 %

36 %

3 %

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-02-07 17:43
The Faithful Dead by Alys Clare
The Faithful Dead - Alys Clare

Series: Hawkenlye Mysteries #5


I'm not sure why the reliance on magic bugs me so much on these books but it does. I think part of it is that there doesn't seem to be much investigating going on. A big chunk of the book was actually a flashback to Josse's father's crusading time. And then stuff just happens to Josse and there are reveals due to magical inspiration or something and...yeah. The whole thing wasn't very satisfying.


I keep reading these books because I do like the characters but I always seem to expect the books to be something that they're not.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-01-15 22:21
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
The Doomsday Book - Connie Willis

Series: Oxford Time Travel #1


I'm still debating whether I should give this five stars or stick to 4.5. This was a reread for me and I still found it compelling, although I didn't blaze through it in a couple days like I did the first time around. There are, admittedly, some issues with regards to historical accuracy, like being worried about cholera in the 14th century and assuming that mediaeval people were much shorter than modern day ones...but it still works for me.


I liked the characters, especially the little girl Agnes, and I loved how people would basically have conversations at cross purposes because they were all in their own little bubbles with their own concerns.


Basically, Kivrin is a historian who time travels back to the 14th century to stay for a couple weeks and make a record of the mediaeval life she observes. Of course, her plans go awry and plot happens, and her unofficial tutor, Mr. Dunworthy, tries to get her back.


I really wish more books would combine the mediaeval time period and science fiction.

Like Reblog Comment
review 2017-11-09 13:00
The Chatter of the Maidens by Alys Clare
The Chatter of the Maidens - Alys Clare

Series: Hawkenlye #4


This mystery at Hawkenlye centres around a new unlikable nun, Alba, and her two sisters, who have recently arrived. There's something off about her, so Abbess Helewise goes off to investigate her background. Meanwhile, one of the pilgrims has been murdered.


Learning about the background of Alba and her sisters was interesting, but I don't know if I quite forgive the author for bringing up the stupid Forest People at the end. At least there was no overly psychic stuff.


I read this for the 16 Festive Tasks Square #1 Dia de Muertos/All Saints Day "A book that has all the colours (ROYGBIV) together on the cover".


Previous update:

10 %


More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?