Curse of Babylon, Reviewed by Ex-Army

I’ve read all of Richard Blake’s novels in this “Aelric” series except for the last one, discussed below, and I recommend them highly. His point that historical novels all too often fail to present historical themes and events according to the paradigms of the times written about is very much true, and also, of course, applies to movies and other pieces of fiction. Frequently, characters in a book set in the 18th century or earlier seem to do their thinking in terms of 21st-century concepts and moral standards.

Blake’s novels to indeed seem to me to reflect the historical period — Ideas about morality, religion, slavery, etc., are very much the ideas of the times.  In this interview, he befuddles me a bit with his frank statements about homosexuality, but it’s perfectly true that current thinking about it is entirely different in every way than the thinking of centuries ago. I probably disagree with his conclusions about the desirability of our changing attitudes towards sex, but Blake is like Gore Vidal on such matters — I read him carefully, and even more carefully when I disagree with him, because I find him always enlightening and thought-provoking  Well, read and be enlightened, and do read his books.

Published here on the 18th February 2014

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