The Auguries by F.G. Cottam
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'd anticipated this novel for quite some time, as I've been following the author's discussions on Twitter. I'd also long been a fan of his work, and now I can state that THE AUGURIES, his newest novel (release 2019) is the best yet. (Though I shall continue to rave over his THE WAITING ROOM.) THE AUGURIES is a champion combination of contemporary London with the sixteenth-century England ruled by a capricious and willful monarch, Henry the Eighth. Mr. Cottam brilliantly showcases both today's culture and the suspicious, gullible, but highly religious society of the 1500's, in England and also in Spain, the Alps, Germany, and the Netherlands. He renders both cultures extremely comprehensible as he utilizes strongly-delineated characters to elicit truths about each era. Then he turns the contemporary portrait upside down and effectively destroys it in an incredibly Apocalyptic, totally implacable, inexplicable and impossible, series of events which defy the laws of physics and Nature, but which nonetheless continue to occur.
If you like your Apocalypse served hot and your historical revenge served cold; if you glory in feats of magic and science and historical research; if you love your characters drawn right down to the bone, with an author's X-ray vision of their truths; then you need to read THE AUGURIES. F. G. Cottam demonstrates mastery indeed.
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