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The Bones of Avalon by Phil Rickman
Review by Joseph B. Hoyos
Minotaur Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780312672386
Date: 21 June 2011 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Article /

In London 1560, the controversial Dr. John Dee is the personal astrologer of Queen Elizabeth who, according to her enemies, is not worthy to reign. Dr. Dee and his best friend and former student, Sir Robert Dudley, travel on horseback to the isolated town of Glastonbury on the Isle of Avalon. At Glastonbury Abbey, Dr. Dee hopes to find the bones of King Arthur and use them to establish Queen Elizabeth's regal heritage. Instead, he finds a town steeped in superstition, occultism and paganism. One of Dudley's servants, Martin Lythgoe, is discovered butchered on the altar at Glastonbury Abbey and a young woman who uses herbs for healing, Dr. Nel Borrow, is falsely accused of witchcraft. Dr. Dee must find Lythgoe’s killer, rescue Nel and foil a murderous plot against Queen Elizabeth.

From official release/information:

Product Description: A country divided. A newly crowned, desperately vulnerable young queen.  Can one man uncover the secret that will save her throne?

It is 1560, and Elizabeth Tudor has been on the throne for a year.  Dr. John Dee, at 32 already acclaimed throughout Europe, is her astrologer and consultant in the hidden arts... a controversial appointment in these days of superstition and religious strife.

When dangerous questions of Elizabeth's legitimacy arise, the mild, bookish Dee finds himself summoned before William Cecil, who tasks him with an important mission. Along with Robert Dudley, Dee's daring friend and former student who is also rumored to be the Queen's secret lover, Dee must travel to the famously mystical town of Glastonbury to find the missing bones of King Arthur.  Once these long-lost relics, the embodiment of a legacy vitally important to the Tudor line, are ensconced in London, doubts as to the Queen's supremacy as the rightful Tudor heir will be dispelled.

But the quest quickly turns deadly—Dee and Dudley arrive in Glastonbury to discover the town mourning the gruesome execution of its abbot, and more death soon follows at the old abbey. Racing to uncover the secrets buried there, Dee finds himself caught in the tangled roots of English magic, unexpected violence, the breathless stirring of first love... and the cold heart of a complex plot against Elizabeth.

(Source: Minotaur Books)

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