Summary – A Burnable Book
Author – Bruce Holsinger
England of 1385 and the young King Richard is busy trying to unite his island country with enemies surrounding him as well as from within his own court. The back biting and intrigue in his court leaves the young King with few to trust. His uncle and trusted advisor, John of Gaunt, is one of his few trusted allies.
But another threat has come about. A book. A book of prophecies that details the deaths of the last dozen rulers of England. A book of prophecy that details in verse, the death of young King Richard. Across the country songs are sung of the verses from this book and it falls to poet John Gower to find and take hold of this book, Liber De Mortibus Regum Anglorum. The Book of the Deaths of English Kings.
The book itself, Gower learns, is considered to be sacrilege and have a copy in your possession is punishable by death. Gower must find the book, decipher the final verses that detail the death of King Richard and save the life of the King. In doing so, find a way to say the life of his estranged son.
A Burnable Book is an excellent read. Impeccably researched and paced, the novel rolls along with a steady wave of relentlessness that is difficult to achieve in historical novels that are not embroiled in erotica.
Though John Gower is the primary protagonist, the novel is filled with actual historical figures and they are more to the novel than pop in and pop out characters. One of the things that Holsinger does so well also is develop the backstories to minor characters as the women of Gropecunt Lane, you can guess what business they are in.
A Burnable Book is a real good read, strong in story and powerful in characters.