Feast of the Serpent

Feast of the Serpent

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Product details

  • Hardback | 198 pages
  • 140 x 220mm
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Ill.
  • 0192713094
  • 9780192713094

Review Text

When Adonell and her mother have left the Marches to join Lureni's folk, the Rom, the girl sees that "nothing would ever be the same": but neither she nor the reader can anticipate the way disaster will strike - not via tire foraging Borderers beyond the law or the gypsies thieving in defiance of it but in a substantial Newgate household. . . afflicted by witchcraft. Intimations of things to come are refreshingly few, and the course of events could almost be called quixotic - at any rate turbulent as befits the rumble of Royalist-Parliamentarian intrigue. Withal elegiac passages etch it: "The air was clear and still, the grass was soft and green, and she was wearing a brocade gown. Archie was a pleasant young man, not handsome but pleasant and kind." The brocade gown is gypsy finery, soon to be doffed, but Archie will remain compassionate, and in Adonell's behalf will be resolute. For, denounced expediently by a covert Royalist whom she's recognized, she's to be tried as a witch - tried as Archie sees other wretches tried, lies believed because tire listeners want to, and condemned by some arbitrary mark on her bared body. And her reprieve is not justice done but power (that of the Deputy-Governor Archie appeals to} acquiesced in. Forsaken by the God of her childhood, troubled recalling prayers to Lureni's strange gods, hungering, sleepless, suggestible. . . she too had wondered. High tension and nice distinctions - and no sign of Bonnie Prince Charlie. (Kirkus Reviews)show more