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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

Colour of Poison by Toni Mount

The Colour of Poison: A Sebastian Foxley Medieval Mystery (Volume 1) - Toni Mount

I had to be careful about when I picked up this book because I knew that once I did there would be no going back. The captivating characters and nonstop drama of London during the reign of Edward IV was expertly done, from the stink and slime in the streets to the riches of Edward's court. Toni Mount is a noteworthy nonfiction writer, and her knowledge of the era is perfectly woven into the fictional story of the Foxley brothers.


This book takes off running, but once I was accustomed to the quickly changing scenes and points of view, I couldn't put it down. The main character, Sebastian Foxley, immediately drew me in and had me cheering for him. As a thoughtful, sensitive man who happened to have a hunchback, I couldn't help but think that he could be a young Matthew Shardlake. He struggles with confidence, his physical limitations, and his desires for a future that he is sure is out of reach for him. At the same time, he has integrity and an amazing faith that shines in the midst of tragedy and death. 


Sebastian is paired with his older brother, Jude, who is handsome and popular but lacks the inner strength and beauty demonstrated by Sebastian. It is when Jude becomes wrapped up in scandal and is arrested that Sebastian is able to reach his full potential. With his brother no longer there to care for him (or bully him), Sebastian does more than he believes is possible when those that he loves need him most.


As wonderful as the personalities and relationships are in this novel, it is truly a murder mystery. The conspiracy stretches from a poor alchemist's apprentice all the way to the king, so the reader gets some fun scenes with Edward and his favorite brother, Richard of Gloucester, as well. 


I am excited to have a new series to get caught up in and can't wait for the next installment to be released.


Colour of Poison is this month's selection for More Historical than Fiction, so you still have time to get in on the discussion.