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Gideon's Angel (2013)

by Clifford Beal(Favorite Author)
3.79 of 5 Votes: 5
1781080844 (ISBN13: 9781781080849)
review 1: This book is the precise written equivalent of all those BBC teatime TV shows like 'The Three Musketeers', 'Merlin' or 'Robin Hood'. If you enjoy that type of thing (and there's nothing wrong with that) then this is definitely the book for you. Generally, I really don't enjoy that sort of thing - the history nerd in me has no desire to see action hero types running around in studded black leather, spouting anachronistic quips - so I was surprised at how much I actually did enjoy this book. Call it a guilty pleasure. It really isn't historically accurate, at all, and the frequent modern phrasing really jarred me (wouldn't have been so jarring if it hadn't been written in the first person, which is really just making it difficult for the author!) There are so many things tha... moret made me wince that at some points I was practically reading through my fingers and a lot of the characters range from pointless (Isabel - the missed opportunity of her being 'pure of heart' at the end really sums up the missed opportunity with every female character, who basically exist, quite typically, to be damsels in distress) to irritating (Billy, who is basically Baldrick, but without the depth). That said, I couldn't look away and it was an entertaining read that did at least portray the nuances of the time (ie none of the 'Cavaliers bad, Roundheads good' or vice versa nonsense).In short - a gripping, fun read if you don't peer too closely at the history element.
review 2: I absolutely loved this novel. It’s set in the Seventeenth Century following the English Civil War. King Charles I has been executed, his son is in exile, and Oliver Cromwell has become the Lord Protector of England. The story’s protagonist is Colonel Richard Treadwell, a Royalist and veteran of many wars, who is exiled to France, working in the service of Cardinal Giulio Mazarin and his agent, Monsieur d’Artagnan (a real life character and the hero of The Three Musketeers). The cardinal has learned that someone in the English court is dabbling in the black arts, and may be preparing to unleash a great evil into the world. The cardinal believes Colonel Treadwell possesses “a skill for finding the Underworld like a pig finds truffles,” and wants him to discover this Satanist among the English court. But Treadwell, has other ideas, planning instead on joining a rebellion to overthrow Cromwell.Treadwell travels to England, only to find the rebellion is being led by fools, but that the threat the cardinal warned of may be all too real. He soon earns the enmity of Major Gideon Fludd, a member of a secret society called the Fifth Monarchy. Fludd believes he can commune with an angel, and by doing the angel’s bidding, he will usher in the second coming of Christ, even if it will take the murder of Oliver Cromwell to make that happen. Suddenly, Treadwell finds himself on a quest to save Cromwell, the man he vowed to overthrow, and to stop Fludd and his supernatural minions to prevent the End of Days.Treadwell is accompanied by an unlikely sidekick, a young rapscallion named Billy Chard who is so likeable he quickly became one of my favorite characters. Meanwhile, Treadwell’s Parisian mistress, Maggie, has followed him to England, accompanied by d’Artagnan, who is hell-bent on returning the rogue colonel to Cardinal Mazarin. Along the way, Treadwell is also aided by a mysterious gypsy, a group of Freemasons, and a Spanish rabbi, who is a master of Jewish mysticism. The story’s “magic” is based that mysticism and includes some of its legendary artifacts, such as the Seal of Solomon and the Key of Solomon. There are abundant supernatural elements, including a host of demons – imagined in the truest medieval sense – and the “angel” that gives the book its title. All these magical elements work well together, blending seamlessly with a swashbuckling action and adventure tale that kept me turning the pages. I loved all of the religion and mysticism, and ended up really caring about the characters. Also, the well-developed historical setting made me feel as if I was roaming through Seventeenth Century London (especially London Bridge, where a lot of action occurs). In all, Gideon’s Angel is historical fantasy at its best, and I highly recommend it! less
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A rattling good yarn. I really enjoyed this a good mix of history and the supernatural.
Good historical novel, full of suspense.
Got bored with it, really.
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