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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Ex Libris by Ross King. New York: Walker & Company, 1998. ISBN: 0-8027-3357-3

Ex Libris is another book on that list of literary thrillers I've been working through. This is probably the most unusual specimen I've tackled so far, since it is set in the 17th century, and revolves around a placid English bookseller (Isaac Inchbold ) who finds his life turned upside down by a noblewoman (Lady Marchamont) who draws him into a tangled web of European intrigue involving Catholics vs. Protestants, and a life-threatening attempt to locate a mysterious manuscript.

The story is very well written, and keeps you avidly turning the pages, although the actual plot is a bit disappointing at the end, when it turns out that the entire affair has been somewhat of a feint, filled with misdirection from start to finish, with our unfortunate protagonist left in the dark for most of the narrative. Still, we have plenty of adventure along the way, and lots of erudite delving into the books of the period, or at least their titles.
The story is quite suspenseful, it's just that the final revelations were a bit of a letdown. Recommended, especially for the literary and historical fiction crowd.


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