Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review of "Plague Land" by S.D. Sykes

This novel is set in 1350, immediately following the Great plague, black death, that had devastated England. Within very short period, a prior social and economical structures that existed collapsed. Religious fanaticism and mysticism are pervasive.
Now new relationships are being established. Due to population decline, peasants who survived are gaining economical bargaining power with the land owners. 
It is in this environment that two teenage girls are brutally killed. Village people and their priest believe it is doing of a doghead, an evil creature with human body and head of a dog.
But Oswald de Lacy, Lord of Somershill, an young manor lord who just inherited this land from his father, believes a real person rather some evil creature killed both girls. His curiosity and persistence will lead to an unexpected and truly diabolical discovery. 
Highly recommended.
posted by David

Friday, August 11, 2017

A former librarian in 18th century China turned crime investigator


This novel is a first in a series that follows Li Du, a former librarian in forbidden city in imperial China. Li Du was dismissed from his post because he was a close friend with a person who was involved in conspiracy against Emperor Kangxi (Qing dynasty). Li Du was spared of his life because he did not know anything about conspiracy but sill exiled to the town in the periphery.
There, Li Du becomes involved in solving mysterious death of Jesuit priest and uncovers the plot that threatens his Imperial Majesty himself.
Very good book. Lots of interesting twists and turns. Nothing extra and nothing left out to complete the story.
highly recommended.

In this second book, Li Du travels to borderland between Tibet and China where in a small mountain village he becomes witness to another mysterious death of a Tibetan monk.
With help of his traveling friend, Hamza, Li Du manages to reconstruct events that led to death of a monk and not surprisingly reveals that even remote villages occasionally are part of covert affairs between big Empires. 
Again very good book. Highly recommended.
posted by David