The Heresy of Dr Dee

Written by Phil Rickman
Review by jay Dixon

The second book in Rickman’s John Dee series takes Dee to his father’s home in Wales. Set against the aftermath of Amy Robsart’s death, which left Robert Dudley free to marry Elizabeth I, it opens with Dee trying to discover the secrets of scrying and discovering, despite his reputation, that he does not have the Sight. Told by Cecil to leave London out of the reach of the Queen until the mystery of Amy’s death is resolved, Dee decides to go to Wales in search of a shewstone which will help him to scry. He and Dudley join the company of a London judge who is on his way to Presteigne to try a Welsh brigand accused of causing death by witchcraft.

Some elements of the convoluted subplot are weak, but I was drawn in to the Elizabethan world of realpolitik and of religion and magic in village life. A leisurely read, this novel could have benefited from better proofreading, but that aside it is an excellent sequel to The Bones of Avalon, which you do not need to have read to enjoy Heresy.