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Download The Illuminator Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Illuminator (Unabridged), by Brenda Rickman Vantrease
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,461 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Brenda Rickman Vantrease Narrator: Simon Jones Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2005 ISBN:
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It is England, in the 14th century, a time of plague, political unrest, and the earliest stirrings of the Reformation. The printing press had yet to be invented, and books were rare and costly, painstakingly lettered by hand and illuminated with exquisite paintings. Finn is a master illuminator who works not only for the Church but also, in secret, for John Wycliffe of Oxford, who professes the radical idea that the Bible should be translated into English for everyone to read. Finn has another secret as well, one that leads him into danger when he meets Lady Kathryn of Blackingham Manor, a widow struggling to protect her inheritance from the depredations of Church and Crown alike. Finn's alliance with Lady Kathryn will take us to the heart of what Barbara Tuchman once called the calamitous fourteenth century.

Richly detailed and irresistibly compelling, The Illuminator is a glorious story of love, art, religion, and treachery at an extraordinary turning point in history. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 April | 1/27/2014

    " I listened to this one on CD and although I really liked some aspects of it and found it historically interesting, it was just too predictible and seemed like everything had to go wrong for everyone just to show the difficult times. I don't know how much of that is the plotline and writing and how much of it is my bias. It's also quite wordy and took some time to really get into it. Wouldn't recommend it to anyone that doesn't absolutely love this period in history and very sad and sensational drama. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen Valentine | 1/25/2014

    " A beautifully told story about a turbulent time in English history. It is a sad story but it was a sad time. I especially loved the quotes from and the material about St. Julian of Norwich whose life has always interested me. There is also a good deal of depth on the art of illuminated manuscripts and the paints and pigments used to create them. If you like this period of history it is a very worthwhile book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becca | 1/13/2014

    " It took me a while to process the ending. I wasn't sure if I loved the book or hated it. I decided I liked it. the characters and story stuck with me and were hard to "leave." it wasn't spectacular, but it was good. I'm interested to read the sequel. That says something, right? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Trisha | 1/9/2014

    " a big disappointment -- despite the fact that it was set in England in the late 14th century and had a cast of characters who could have been fun to read about...except that it ended up reading like a medieval soap opera. A big waste of time as far as I'm concerned. (But it kept me reading nonetheless!) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 1/6/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. A period piece, historical-type novel is right up my alley. The only problem is that a lot of the character outcomes and particularly the ending did not sit well with my light- mooded summer heart. But, I'm sure to get over it! Just ordered the sequel but am actually afraid to see what else can happen to these people whose lives I got so invested in. I may be totally devasted by the end! LOL! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ann | 1/4/2014

    " To be honest, I didn't finish this book. I'm very interested in the premise behind the story, but the writing was trite, the characters inconsistent, and the smaller plot elements not credible. I could not read on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pembroke | 12/29/2013

    " 3.2 rating Jo-Ann "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Petra | 12/2/2013

    " Wonderful premise ( book illuminating) but hated the fluffy romance inflicted on the pages. Readable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathleen | 11/19/2013

    " i really enjoyed this story! am looking forward to reading the sequel. good research...felt like i was back in medieval england. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jean | 11/11/2013

    " If you liked Ken Follett's, Pillars of the Earth , you will most likely enjoy this novel as well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Naisargishukla | 11/3/2013

    " I enjoyed it! Somehow or other I am in the midst of a middle ages phase. This a bit reminiscent of the Pillars of the Earth. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lara | 10/14/2013

    " Kinda corny, with the language (people calling each other 'whoresons', etc.), and the characterizations were cliched, but a nice, sad little romance. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marty | 6/22/2013

    " Historical fiction with a love story. Well written, intricate plot line. Writer is from Nashville, TN. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sierracreek | 1/24/2013

    " 14th Century England - early translators of the Bible. Boy, what they had to go through to get the good book into the hands of commoners. Great historical fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eleanor | 5/21/2012

    " A good historical novel for a long flight!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lily | 4/24/2012

    " Good historical fiction mixing in real-life characters, most notably the Anchoress Julian of Norridge. Doesn't tip-toe around the corruption of church or the brutality of the 14th century. One of my favorite medieval reads. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becca Parker | 4/11/2012

    " Overall a good story. Moves kind of slowly at times, but is historically fairly accurate. Definitely does not turn out in the way you would expect. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 2/15/2012

    " Set in Medieval England. A librarian friend recommended it to me. We have the same taste in books. Excellent story! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bridget | 1/9/2012

    " Quite possibly the stupidest book I read all the way through. Oh wait, no, that was The Little Book. But just barely. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joleene | 12/27/2011

    " Very engaging story of the end of feudalism. Ending had interesting twist. Heroine , Lady Kathryn, well drawn and relatable. For a first novel very impressive work. I will put this on my list of favorite medieval novels, next to Judith Merkle Riley. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Julie | 9/5/2011

    " I read half of this, but it never really hooked me. I didn't like any of the main characters, and the story just seemed to be headed in a tragic direction from the very beginning. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Betsy | 7/20/2011

    " I cried. Of course. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol Webster | 6/9/2011

    " Really enjoyed this book. Well written and allowed me to visualize the scenery and people in my head beautifully! Fiction and history woven together well, and I plan on reading more about Julian of Norwich as a result!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 4/23/2011

    " Takes place after King Edward dies and a widow walks carefully between religions "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chris | 4/16/2011

    " Great writing, but too predictable for me to like. It's me, not the author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 3/27/2011

    " really liking this story so far.now that I finished it, I don't like the last third part of the story. Too many sad things happening and I kept on hoping it will work it out to a better happy ending. I just found out that there is a book two and I will read to see if it get better ending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 2/22/2011

    " I discovered the WONDERFUL books by Brenda Rickman Vantrease quite by accident. Her research is impecible; characters are so well developed - all is a joy! If historical novels is your favorite genre', read all three!
    THE ILLUMINATOR
    THE MERCY SELLER
    THE HERETIC'S WIFE "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kzr0 | 1/19/2011

    " An historical love story, beautifully rendered. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 1/10/2011

    " Brilliantly written first novel. Great building of all characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anneliese | 12/28/2010

    " Historical fiction.... I enjoyed this. The characters are fairly complex and the setting is realistic and well-described. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jaimie | 11/30/2010

    " This was a pretty interesting book, but the author killed off almost everyone of interest. Why? Who knows! It didn't really mesh with the book at all. It was set in the middle ages, so maybe she was trying to be realistic that a lot of people died back then. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mady | 11/13/2010

    " The story of an illuminator in 14th century England, where the Bible is still only available in Latin and for priests, Church rules everyday life and women are always behind men... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dgoll | 10/5/2010

    " Very interesting story. The time period is 14th c. in england where the seeds of reformation are being planted. This would be great to read before reading CJ Samson's Tudor series or before Wolf Hall. It is a quick & much lighter read, which is why I gave it only a 3. "

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