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The Illuminator by Brenda Rickman Vantrease
MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9733713,665 (3.48)34
  1. 00
    The Origins of Religious Dissent in England by K. B. McFarlane (myshelves)
    myshelves: Also published as "John Wycliffe and the Beginnings of English Nonconformity." Deals with the history in which the characters in the novel become embroiled.
  2. 00
    Katherine by Anya Seton (myshelves)
    myshelves: Set in the same historical period, showing some of the same events from another viewpoint.

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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Let's see... I couldn't wait to be done with the book. I can't remember why I wanted to read it. These are not good signs. Just don't. ( )
  CSKteach | Jul 20, 2018 |
Dopo aver letto e amato I pilastri della Terra e il suo seguito, ambientati nello stesso periodo, questo non può che deludere.
La storia all'inizio è avvincente e intrigante, ma con il passare delle pagine scade nella banalità e nell'ovvio. L'oscura mietitrice arriva proprio quando te l'aspetti, risolvendo un po' troppo facilmente una situazione in stallo.
I personaggi più interessanti sono quelli più trascurati, i protagonisti si risolvono con un bel po' di fumo negli occhi, e si aggiungono anche imprecisioni storiche - finezze, è vero, ma sono pignola... Nel complesso, da dimenticare. ( )
  LaPizia | Aug 3, 2017 |
This book is tagged as a historical mystery. As historical fiction goes, this was an excellent and well-researched book. The characters were well-developed and you could feel the emotions of their struggles as you read. As a mystery, well, it flopped. They were supposed to be solving the murder of a priest, but most of the time, I think they forgot about him. However, the rest of the story was so fascinating that I really didn't care. I will definitely be checking out the next book to find out what happens.
( )
  jguidry | May 31, 2016 |
This wasn't a bad novel, but I definitely don't think it qualifies as great. The author includes pretty much every historical fiction cliche in the novel-a widowed noblewoman struggling to maintain her lands, a poor illuminator with a secret (who becomes the lover of the noblewoman, of course!), an evil bishop, a self-serving sheriff, a conniving steward, the noblewoman's two sons (one good, one bad), etc, etc-and, as a result, there is just too much going on in the novel. This left several of the interconnecting story lines feeling flat and poorly fleshed out, as was the development of pretty much all of the main characters. Again, this novel wasn't bad, and I will eventually read the follow-up, The Mercy Seller, but for my money there are much better works of historical fiction out there today. ( )
  Melissa_J | Jan 16, 2016 |
This book turned out to be different than what I expected, better than expected. I read some of the reviews and one person said she threw it away after reading about the immorality taking place within the first few chapters, leaving her with a feeling that a book somewhat based on John Wycliffe, was tarnished and off the path of a story of a man with high morals. Brenda Vantrease beautifully weaves the hungry quest for Biblical knowledge, as well as failure on many levels of human nature into this 1300's heartbreaking story with grace and dignity. If you keep reading, the consequences of the main character's sins do surely catch up with them. It is romantic and heartbreaking, Deep and moving. The lives of those in these primitive days are truly astounding, and the power of the church dictating every living soul to the point of despair and even death. The ending has a profound with an unexpected twist. Colorful characters and vivid descriptions keep you turning the pages wanting more. Highly recommended. ( )
  tippygirl | Aug 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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Important places
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For Barney and Arlene
First words
John Wycliffe put down his pen and rubbed tired eyes.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
La dame de Blackingham is the French title for The Illuminator.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312331924, Paperback)

It is England, in the late fourteenth century, a time when the old feudal order is starting to crack, but the whim of a lord or the pleasure of a bishop still has the power to seal nearly anyone's fate. The printing press has yet to be invented; books are rare and costly, painstakingly lettered and illuminated with exquisite paintings.

For Lady Kathryn of Blackingham Manor, a widow and mother trying desperately to safeguard her holdings without the dubious protection of her late husband, it is a time made both sweeter and more perilous by the arrival of a master illuminator called Finn. Caught between the King's taxes and the Church's tithes, Kathryn strikes a bargain with the local abbot: she will take Finn and his pretty young daughter into her household in exchange for the monastery's protection.

Finn is working not only on approved church texts, but secretly---and dangerously---on a forbidden English translation of the Bible. As the hesitant friendship between Kathryn and Finn grows into a passionate alliance, wonderful new storyteller Brenda Rickman Vantrease brings us a glorious novel of love, treachery, faith, and redemption on the eve of the Renaissance.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:02 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Working in secret for a fourteenth-century Oxford professor who would translate the Bible into English, master illuminator Finn forms an alliance with Lady Kathryn, a widow desperate to protect her inheritance from the church and the monarchy.

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Average: (3.48)
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