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The Bones of Avalon by Phil Rickman
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The Bones of Avalon (edition 2010)

by Phil Rickman

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2181253,416 (3.44)15
Member:divinenanny
Title:The Bones of Avalon
Authors:Phil Rickman (Author)
Info:Corvus (2010), London, Hardcover, 435p.
Collections:Your library, eBooks, To read, Buy and Get 2011, Unread, Readable
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Tags:elizabeth tudor, england, 1500s, glastonbury, avalon, king arthur, john dee, fiction

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The Bones of Avalon by Phil Rickman

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I didn't find the style very engaging and gave up at 12% when I began to find the use of "modern" swearing irritating. The choice of invective was lazy and jarred with the historical period. It also felt inappropriate to some of the characters concerned. ( )
  Kindleifier | Aug 19, 2016 |
Really enjoyed this although it did flag a little in the middle before picking up again towards the end. I liked the twist towards the end although I do think it was made a little to obvious that Nel hadn't killed anybody, that she was a victim of intolerance. ( )
  KarenDuff | Jun 1, 2016 |
It is 1560 and Elizabeth I has only recently come to the throne; there are already plots against her and Dr John Dee, astrologer and mathematician, is sent to Glastonbury to find the bones of Arthur. While he is there a man is murdered.

I did like this and John Dee is an unusual and likeable protagonist. The picture of medieval Glastonbury after the dissolution of its monastery is very good. The other characters were interesting and I enjoyed the story. But somehow the whole isn't as good as its parts and this wasn't a book that lived up to my expectations. Maybe the fault is with me. ( )
2 vote calm | Mar 14, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this book, it reminded me of the C J Sansom books about Shardlake.
It was the first book that I have come across Dr John Dee, Queen Elizabeth I's astrologer, mathematician, scientist and all round guru. She sends him to Glastonbury to find the bones of King Arthur, which was meant to prove that she was in fact the rightful Queen of England. I may have missed something in the reading but I wasn't quite sure how or why! but the story was exciting and mysterious at the same time.
A grizzely murder, witch hunts and some very peculiar people are met along the way! A very good read indeed. ( )
  Glorybe1 | Jan 3, 2013 |
Wish I hadn't pressed on with this book to the end - what a waste of nearly a week's reading.

The content is a confused mixture of all the over-used stories associated with Glastonbury: Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea, the thorn tree, the holy grail (cup or spirit), the landscaping of Avalon as a purported mirror to the heavens, Arthur and the Arthurian legends - including Morgan le Fay, the sword in the lake, Merlin, and THE BONES OF ARTHUR! Also dragged in for good measure is the queen’s grandfather Henry VII and his early endeavour to validate his assumption of the crown by drawing on old Welsh legends of kingship. And Nostradamus, together with his baffling so-called prophecies and his political role in the French and English court. I began to wonder what other irrelevant historical happenings and figures Rickman could draw into the increasingly muddled web he was attempting to create as a means of selling this story.

This tale obviously set out to be ‘a mystery’ and Rickman has done his best to conjure up an atmosphere of secrecy and shadow through the writing and language used. However, this did not do it for me - I found it laboured , forced and artificial … a poor attempt at creating a covert and cryptic mood of threat and fear.

As for the two main characters, Dudley was out of the plot for the most part being confined to his sick room, his only function seemingly to add historical probity and as a means of introducing the healer Nel to the plot. Dr Dee was the unlikely detective and the only character that came across as having any real substance.

The action - if it could be called so - was disordered, confused and chaotic: I suppose to give additional support to the equally unsubtle use of language. It dragged itself out to the eventual denouement which was as unbelievable and undramatic as the previous 400 plus pages. ( )
  eas | May 17, 2012 |
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Religious strife, Glastonbury legends, the bones of King Arthur and the curse of the Tudors - can astrologer John Dee help the young Queen Elizabeth to avoid it?

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