Wow, four months into the year gone and nobody's reading anything?
I have to admit, this year my own reading is as bad and inconsistent as it's ever been. Over the past eight years I have managed to read some excellent classics (my favourite of which have to be: The Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien, the complete Conan the Barbarian
cycle of Robert E. Howard and the epic Arthurian poem Idylls of the King
by Alfred Lord Tennyson), but this year I'm struggling to remain faithful to any one book.
The last real novel I read (though admittedly I think it was actually back in late 2015) was a crypto-thriller called The Sword of Moses
by Dominic Selwood.
I believe it is his only novel (he's a historian so his other work is mostly academic), but it was really quite a page-turner!
I bought it on Kindle for a mere 80p! It's in the same vein as The Da Vinci Code
and that whole absurd genre which I normally avoid like the plague...but this one grabbed me. The actual, historical Sword of Moses is not a physical sword (and certainly didn't belong to the ancient Hebrew prophet) but rather an arcane Jewish magical text
that started doing the rounds in the later Middle Ages. It is basically one long incantation, consisting mostly of incredibly complex and virtually unpronounceable names of angelic beings, with the ultimate intended purpose being an attempt to manipulate God himself into doing the magician's bidding. Fairly insane, but there you go. There's a copy of the text in the British Library and, unsurprisingly, it features in the novel.
However, it is only one tiny part of a larger plot, and to be honest it doesn't play that significant a part, so the title is somewhat misleading. If you think the idea of mixing Aleister Crowley, Neo-Nazis, ancient Biblical relics, the Knights Templar and British secret agents into the same story is a bad idea, then you should steer clear of this book! If you think all of that sounds fun, it's available on Kindle for £1.89. It's no classic, but the fact that the new cover (pictured above) indicates it is now the first of a planned trilogy, genuinely excites me. I will most certainly be reading the sequels as and when they're published.
In other news, I made a start on John Milton's Paradise Lost
a couple of weeks ago. If I can finish that this year I will be proud of myself.