Friday, June 1, 2018

Ars Magica, by Judith Tarr (author), Jean Brassard (narrator)

Audible Studios, October 2013 (original publication January 1989)

A real, historical person, Gerbert de Aurillac started life as a farmer's son in an unimportant town in tenth-century France. He died Pope Sylvester II in 1003.

Along the way, he became an important scholar, teacher, mathematician, and by tenth-century standards, scientist.

According to legend, he may also have been a master of the magical arts. This is that story, starting with young Gerbert meeting his first tutor in the arts of magic.

This is a good, solid, engrossing story of mediaevel magic, politics, and history, with really excellent characters. Tarr as always knows the history more than well enough to do believable but interesting things with it, and make a stronger story overall.

Gerbert, his friend Richer, his rival Arnulf, his first teacher of magic, the Saracen Ibrahim, Emperor Otto II, and the other significant characters all have the complexities, mixed motives, strengths and weaknesses. For this reread, I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator is very good.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.