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Dispatch: 23 January 2017
Knowledge of Angels/Walsh, Jill Pa/Paper/0552997803/S009-E
It is, perhaps, the fifteenth century and the ordered tranquillity of a Mediterranean island is about to be shattered by the appearance of two outsiders: one, a castaway, plucked from the sea by fishermen, whose beliefs represent a challenge to the established order; the other, a child abandoned by her mother and suckled by wolves, who knows nothing of the precarious relationship between church and state but whose innocence will become the subject of a dangerous experiment.
But the arrival of the Inquisition on the island creates a darker, more threatening force which will transform what has been a philosophical game of chess into a matter of life and death...
"A compelling mediaeval fable, written from the heart and melded to a driving narrative which never once loses its tremendous pace." - Guardian.
"This remarkable novel resembles an illuminated manuscript mapped with angels and mountains and signposts, an allegory for today and yesterday too. A beautiful, unsettling moral fiction about virtue and intolerance." - Observer.
"The lucidity of Jill Paton Walsh's style and the dexterity of the narrative are such that her book reads more like a good thriller than a weighty novel of ideas... an ingenious fable." - The Times.
"An irresistible blend of intellect and passion... Novels of ideas come no better than this sensual example." - Mail on Sunday. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 1994.