In modern day England, Professor Felix Guichard is called in to identify occult symbols found on the corpse of a young girl. His investigation brings him in contact with a mysterious woman, Jackdaw Hammond, who guards a monumental secret--She's Dead. Or she would be, were it not for magic which has artificially extended her life. But someone else knows her secret. Someone very old and very powerful, who won't rest until they've taken the magic that keeps her alive....
In Krakow in 1585, Dr John Dee, the Elizabethan Alchemist and Occultist, and his assistant Edward Kelley have been summoned by the King of Poland to save the life of his niece, the infamous Countess Elisabeth Bathory. But they soon realize that the only thing worse than the Countess' malady, is the magic that might be able to save her...
As Jackdaw and Felix race to uncover the truth about the person hunting her, it becomes clear that the answers they seek can only be found in the ancient diary of John Dee's assistant, Edward Kelley. Together they must solve a mystery centuries in the making, or die trying.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for an honest review.
The book, as in real life, did not turn out as I expected. Set in two time periods, present day and sixteenth century England, Two different time frames, yet the characters all seek one thing - the secret to life and death.
While I do not normally care for a book with split time frames, Alexander made the transition from the sixteenth century to present day seamless in my opinion. The mix of history and fantasy showed a true understanding of the phrase fiction and dealt with a topic I find fascinating, magic. The dark times which included witch's, inquisitors and a fear of those in power as much as what goes bump in the dark, is much the same today as in years passed.
The very nature of humanity leads us to find ways to give the human race a longer, healthier, wealthier, socially acceptable life.
Elizabeth Bathory the very model for Cinderella's evil step-mother, in fact portrayed as thus in The Huntsman is truly a psychotic manifestation of what every woman eventually faces when they began to age. The combination of history to urban fantasy kept me on my toes.