Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Review: The Astrologer
The Astrologer by Scott G.F. Bailey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book Info: Genre: Historical/Alternative History fiction
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: Fans of historically based fiction, alternate-history fiction, Denmark
Book Available: March 1, 2013 in paperback (link to Amazon where formatting allowed)
Trigger Warnings: Violence, fighting, murder
Disclosure: I received an ARC in e-book format from Rhemalda Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Synopsis: “As long as Denmark looks backward, there will be bloodshed.”
It is December of 1601. Soren Andersmann, the Danish royal astrologer, has smuggled a trunk full of poisons, daggers, and a venomous snake into the royal castle at Elsinore. Though Soren knows nothing of the assassin’s trade, he has sworn to be the instrument of justice. King Christian IV has murdered Soren’s mentor and spiritual father, Tycho Brahe, the most famous astronomer the world has seen. Soren will have his revenge.
The Astrologer takes us into the world of Europe on the edge of the Renaissance. It is a world ruled by the sword, where civilization is held in place by violence and blind loyalty. The birth of science is still overshadowed by medieval religion, but men are learning to think for themselves. In 1601, a man who thinks for himself is a dangerous man. Soren Andersmann, the astrologer, is becoming a dangerous man.
My Thoughts: The story opens with a bang and a clang: smack-dab in the middle of a sword fight. While the entire story is not action, there is definitely enough to fulfill the wishes of any adrenaline junkie, and the story is amusing and... delightful. Yes, delightful.
I have recently been heard complaining about the lack of grace and beauty in much of modern language. You will not hear such complaints from me about this book, whose language—even the narrative—maintains a lovely authenticity, staying true to the loveliness of the language of the era during which the story is set. It was beautiful to read. There was also a good bit of humor in it. For example: “Perverting science for political reasons galled me...” This made me laugh out loud, because the narrator is here referring to the “science” of astrology—reading the signs in the heavens above. Science!
I also quite enjoyed Soren’s attempts at assassination, and some of the unlikely assistance he received along the way. The ending of chapter 9 had me hooting out loud and applauding! My husband came in to find out what it was all about, but I refused to tell him so I did not spoil the surprise, because I ordered a paperback copy of this book for my husband, whose birthday is just a couple weeks after our anniversary, and a couple days after Valentine’s day. I know he will love it!
If you like historically based fiction, if you like the legends and history of Denmark, if you enjoy a really well-done story, then you absolutely will not want to miss this new book being put out by Rhemalda. It is currently available for pre-ordering on Amazon, and I’ve linked to its Amazon page (in this sentence, and at the end of the synopsis where the title is mentioned) where formatting is allowed. Very much recommended!
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