“I read this a few years ago and it was one of those books you always remember because it creates a whole new way of thinking. I had no idea at the time that the medieval mindset was any different to the modern one. It is about the adventure of a Franciscan friar and his novice in medieval Italy and it is part murder mystery, part game with semiotics and medieval knowledge. At university I read lots of French books referring to this medieval period where all knowledge was supposed to be classified, and re-classified and super-classified, and it became sort of idiotic, this academic approach that these monks had. Yet there was something amazing about this belief that you could classify knowledge. It’s also very good storytelling, but the part I remember was the sort of library filled with knowledge and these games, which teased you with knowing things and not knowing things. It’s just this very complex mindset that’s really different from our own and because I knew nothing about it, it was just terribly exciting to be taken off into this world.” Read more...
The Best Historical Novels