Book Review of The Illuminator

The Illuminator
reviewed on + 243 more book reviews

It is England, the late 14th century, a time when the whim of a lord or the pleasure of a bishop can seal nearly anyone's fate. The printing press has yet to be invented. Books, written only in Latin or Norman French, are rare and costly, painstakingly lettered and illuminated with exquisite paintings--far beyond the reach of ordinary people. Finn is a master illuminator who works not only for the Church but also in secret for the heretical Oxford cleric John Wycliffe. Lady Kathryn, the mistress of Blackingham Manor, is a widow who finds herself caught between the King's taxes and the Church's tithes. To protect her sons' inheritance, she strikes a bargain with the abbot--Kathryn will take in the illuminator and his daughter and gain the monastery's protection. What begins as a hesitant friendship between Finn and Lady Kathryn grows into a passionate alliance that touches off a chain of betrayals, tragedies, and unexpected acts of heroism.