The Falcons of Fire and Ice, by Karen Maitland

A fable relates how once a falcon refused to return to his master's fist. A cockerel, watching this, thought, I am just as fina a bird as any falcon, yet I am forced to scratch fro scraps in the dust at my master's feet. Why should I not ride upon his fist and be fed choice meats from his fingers ?

So the cockerel flew up on to his master's fist. His master was delighted and praised the the bird for its cleverness. The he killed it, and held up its body as a lure for the falcon, which at once returned to his fist and devoured the cockerel's flesh.

This quotation comes from the book The Falcons of Fire and Ice by Karen Maitland. I am a big fan of historical fiction, almost an addict, so whenever I spot one I buy it. This story plays in 1564 and starts in Portugal where the Inquisition spreads its wings of terror and decides to annihilate the Marrano's, former jews that were forced to convert to Catholicism. It ends in Iceland, where a vicar plays a deadly game to create a draugr, some kind of demon, and a Siamese twin in a cave tries to stop it. It mixes historical facts with talks of the supernatural, and it is definitely a page turner, well written, and a very pleasant read.


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