Auriel Rising

Written by Elizabeth Redfern
Review by Pat Maynard

It is 1609, and Ned Warriner has covertly slipped back into London, following a two-year self-imposed exile for rescuing a Catholic friend falsely accused of being a spy. Since at this time in England’s history it is dangerous to even be a Catholic, Ned’s offense in this regard is no small thing. To further complicate matters, the sweetheart he left behind and who still holds his heart is now unhappily married to Francis Pelham, a Catholic hunter. Shortly after his arrival, Ned wins a mysterious (and most likely stolen) leather-bound book in a game of chance. When he later discovers a letter secreted inside beginning with the words “To Auriel I will give the gift of gold”, Ned suddenly finds himself free-falling into a labyrinth of treachery and sedition. Who is the mysterious Auriel? Could this letter be the long-sought-after formula for turning base metals into gold – or an obscure cipher outlining some type of sinister plot? As Ned struggles to find answers, word of his discovery leaks out, and people around him begin dying.

Filled with colorful characters, thorough research of the period, and intrigue galore, Auriel Rising is a virtual reading feast for mystery lovers. Additionally, the atmosphere of England during this era of religious and political turmoil is acutely palpable throughout the author’s skillfully weaved storyline. I now look forward with anticipation to reading Redfern’s first historical thriller, Music of the Spheres, which has also garnered many positive reviews.