If you enjoy historical fiction, don’t miss The Astrologer by Scott G.F. Bailey. I read this a couple of months ago, and loved it so much I had to share it here.
It is December of 1601. Soren Andersmann, the Danish royal astrologer, has smuggled a trunk full of poisons, daggers, and a venomous snake into the royal castle at Elsinore. Though Soren knows nothing of the assassin’s trade, he has sworn to be the instrument of justice. King Christian IV has murdered Soren’s mentor and spiritual father, Tycho Brahe, the most famous astronomer the world has seen. Soren will have his revenge.
The Astrologer takes us into the world of Europe on the edge of the Renaissance. It is a world ruled by the sword, where civilization is held in place by violence and blind loyalty. The birth of science is still overshadowed by medieval religion, but men are learning to think for themselves. In 1601, a man who thinks for himself is a dangerous man. Soren Andersmann, the astrologer, is becoming a dangerous man.
I loved this story! From my perspective, Scott Bailey did everything right here. To start with, the setting is well crafted. Bailey paints a compelling portrait of life in 1601 Europe, without relying on an excess of words.
The characters feel real. This is narrated in first person, from the perspective of Soren Andersmann, The Astrologer. Through his eyes, we get to know all the characters. Each has a unique personality, with hidden motivations we catch glimpses of along the way.
The plot moves at a good pace, with a lot of action and some unexpected twists.
The most important factor here for me is the dialogue. Often with historical fiction, I find the characters speech is modern and out of place. Not so with this story. The dialogue matched the period beautifully, while still remaining modern enough to allow for an easy reading experience.
In all, I found this to be one of those books I could completely lose myself in.
** I received this book from Rhemalda Publishing in exchange for an honest review. **