Thursday, June 14, 2007

Stonehenge (Book #54)

Stonehenge (Bernard Cornwell, 1999) is a big departure from the Cornwell books I've read so far (Sharpe and Starbuck, basically). It's longer, for one thing, both in page count (close to 500) and time covered (decades for the planning and building of Stonehenge instead of weeks/months leading up to a battle). It's good, though I think I prefer the greater immediacy and intimacy with the characters from the more typical Cornwells. His speculation about the purpose of Stonehenge is as plausible as any I've seen, though he points out in his note at the end that there's no way we can know--if we tried to deduce Christianity from a ruined cathedral, we might well conclude it was a sun-worshiping religion because of the east-west alignment of the building and one that practiced human sacrifice because of the crucifix and the burials found within older churches. Anyway, it's a good read, particularly if you have a hankering for a semi-historical epic with lots of blood and angst and sibling rivalry.

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