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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Saturday, December 27, 2014

excellent alternate Tudor mystery!

Court of Conspiracy (The Tudor Enigma #1) by April Taylor

An alternate Tudor universe where Anne Boleyn is very much alive and the Queen Mother. Henry VIII has died and their son Henry IX is King. Anne holds at bay those who would attempt to rule via the young monarch. Now though the very life of the young king has been threatened three times. Anne must 'plot her strategy and make England, and the King, safe.'
Luke Ballard is chosen to ensure that. Although a lowly apothecary, Luke is so much more. An elemancer, a user of magic he channels the power of one of the four elements (water, fire, wind or earth). Luke's element that he uses to perform his magic is fire,   Elemancers work their magic 'through the Grace of God for the good of all.' They are helped by their faithful  familiars, a breed of dogs called Greysprings.
It seems dark magic is at work, a sunderer, the opposite of elemancers, is at large and the net they have cast endangers those dear to Luke. Sunderers 'foment strife and imperil those who get in their way.' The worst of them are the malus nocte,  elemagus turned sunderers. Some also have their familiars, umbrans, dark dogs who assist in evil deeds.
Courtly and political intrigue are rife and magical perfidy stalks the King. Luke, at Anne's bequest is thrown into the heart of this dire situation. Those close to him come under attack and he must call on all his strength of will to win through.
Luke is supported by a loyal group of friends including Anne Boleyn's lady in waiting Gwenette Paige, his mentor the elemagus Dufay,
History, crime and magic lay the ground for this most satisfying and different read.

A NetGalley ARC

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