The Divine Sacrifice
By Tony Hays
This is the second book in the Arthurian legend mystery series following The Killing Way. You can read my review of The Killing Way here.
Malgwyn ap Cuneglas is a counselor to King Arthur. He’s asked to accompany the King to Glastonbury Abbey to investigate reports of rebellion. What he finds on his arrival is a dead monk, accusations of heresy, and while investigating one murder, finds himself entangled in a second. The second murder becomes the more problematic one as the dead man is a well-known and revered man of the church. While trying to find a murder, or murderers, Malgwyn uncovers a conspiracy to overrun the church and the kingdom.
I’m not a mystery person but I’ve been trying to read more of them. I always have the same problem with all mysteries though — I spend all my time trying to figure out who did it that I don’t always enjoy the story itself. I don’t have this problem with other genres, although I do read ahead a lot and of course I do that with a mystery too but I just get caught up in it too much. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy this book because I did find it a fun read but I think I’m coming to a realization about mysteries themselves. They might just not be for me.
There was a small thing that did bother me about this book. All the men are rough and stay true to their nature throughout which I appreciate. I don’t expect 5th Century warlords to be overly kind but when an old murder — rape and murder of a young girl actually — is mentioned, it’s treated so casually and coldly that it bothered me. It’s a brutal murder but somehow having taken place so many years ago means nothing to all the people involved. It irked me too much.
I will say this though, I was surprised by who did it in this book. It was hidden well behind a name I didn’t connect. Of course, by this time I was too busy trying to figure out who did it that I had completely overlooked the connection and was annoyed by several of the characters reactions to past events to pay attention to this person at all. Then again, maybe that was the master plan of the author. Overall, this quick read was good and if you like historical fiction mixed with your mystery, it’s not a bad aside.