My rating: 3 of 5 stars
On the plus side: very nicely written and set in the early 13C makes for an interesting tale. The author's handling of superstition is nicely done and I really liked the Mandrake's Herbal that precedes each chapter. The mandrake is pulled from the ground (as described similarly in Harry Potter tales) and is used for dark magic. How the mandrake is made is especially gruesome and appeals to both historical fiction and fantasy fans. Various herbs/plants are introduced and each has a dark side.
On the minus side: The tale was over long and not a great deal happens. I felt disappointed in the ending, having followed various characters to only find there is no real conclusion for many characters. If it was left open for a sequel, I may not bother having waded through such a long tale already.
Overall: I much preferred Company of Liars. That was a very quirky tale and although that was also quite a slow tale, I felt more engaged with the characters.
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