Six years have passed since England’s King Charles II returned from exile to reclaim the throne, ushering in a new era of stability for his subjects.
Except for Elizabeth Milton. The daughter of notorious poet John Milton, Elizabeth has never known her place in this shifting world—except by her father’s side. By day she helps transcribe his latest masterpiece, the epic poem Paradise Lost, and by night she learns languages and sword fighting. Although she does not dare object, she suspects that he’s training her for a mission whose purpose she cannot fathom.
Until one night the reason becomes clear: the king’s men arrive at her family’s country home to arrest her father. Determined to save him, Elizabeth follows his one cryptic clue and journeys to Oxford, accompanied by her father’s mysterious young houseguest, Antonio Vivani, a darkly handsome Italian scientist who surprises her at every turn. Funny, brilliant, and passionate, Antonio seems just as determined to protect her father as she is—but can she trust him with her heart?
When the two discover that Milton has planted an explosive secret in the half-finished Paradise Lost—a secret the king and his aristocratic supporters are desperate to conceal—Elizabeth is faced with a devastating choice: cling to the shelter of her old life or risk cracking the code, unleashing a secret that could save her father…and tear apart the very fabric of society.
Anne Blankman’s debut (Prisoner of Night and Fog) was one of my favorite books in 2014. I was a little weary about this books sequel though, I mean it was not really needed but was excited to read that she had a new book, Traitor Angels coming out. A book that would be focusing on English history—particularly John Milton and that stupid poem that I was forced to read twice, once in AP English and later in my British Literature Post Shakespeare class in college.
As you can probably tell, I don’t like John Milton.
Because that poem was so long…and so religious and ugh. And I had to spend a fourth of the semester listening to how Satan could be viewed as the hero in said epic poem and I was like can’t I do something more useful with my time like catching up Grey’s Anatomy—which was actually decent then because McDreamy and McSteamy were still alive and kicking.
Whatever though, I was still interested. The blurb made it seem like there would be a The Da Vinci Code vibe to it—take that Dan Brown, Anne Blankman has already YA’d your ludicrous conspiracy theory book—and it did and ended up jumping the shark in glorious Dan Brown fashion.
If you’re remotely religious or get pissed whenever religion is twisted and contorted to something it’s not and then exploited by the History Channel, you might want to skip this one. The revelation will make a lot of people upset, the revelation didn’t bother me though (at least not for those reasons).
What bothered me was that even though it had jumped over the shark and then some, the twist was so expected. It was just like Blankman was like how can I top The Da Vinci Code. And the result was just sort of stupid and really nonsensical, since there was never a bloody explanation to how they came to these erroneous and very stupid conclusions.
I could even get over the big plot hole if there was some decent character development. Elizabeth was interesting enough, I guess, before her quest. I was starting to get a good idea of her, but her nighttime swordswoman skills were laughable at best. Especially considering she was a repressed puritan. And considering she grew up as a puritan she really didn’t act one, since she was more than willing to gallivant with a man without a chaperone in 17th century England.
Oh, fail book. Fail. Fail. Fail.
The romance was just dull as starring at wallpaper. Antonio was just boring. I felt like the Robert character was more developed and based on what happened in the book that ship would’ve been a definite no go too.
The quest itself, despite its ludicrous conclusion ,seemed entirely too easy. Even Dan Brown has his Indiana Jones wannabe character struggling a bit. It seems like Elizabeth was just able to piece together the puzzles and clues like that. I mean, I’ve played Nancy Drew games that were harder.
Was it the worst thing ever?
Just a bit of a disappointment. On a positive note, I finished it which is saying something because I’ve had a slew of DNF’s lately.
Overall Rating: A D. If you like ludicrous conspiracy theories, just for the theories read this one. If you’re highly sensitive about religion, like character development and good romance don’t bother. I honestly expected more from Blankman.