This author reminds me somewhat of Robert Graves, whose I Claudius and Claudius the God gave me such immense pleasure when I was a great deal younger.
Graves's books had the advantage of dealing with a period of history many people are either familiar with, or at least vaguely aware of. Blake has the problem – but for me a delight – that he deals with period and places very few people know much about.
His hero is fun; his villains are suitably villainous; his tone amusingly cynical, and his scholarship – as far as I can tell – impeccable.
In a curious way his writing reminded me of the Sister Fidelma books.
They of course are historical whodunits but much of their joy, as with this book, is that you learn a lot about a period and a place that is little known.
Reviewd on Goodreads, 30th August 2013
© 2015, richardblake.
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