Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Illuminator

The Illuminator

Brenda Rickman Vantrease

St. Martin's Griffin

BUY THE BOOK

Trade Paperback

A glowing first novel that brings us "historical fiction in the grand epic manner, beautifully felt and written"

It is England, in the fourteenth 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, Brenda Rickman Vantrease's The Illuminator is a glorious story of love, art, religion, and treachery at an extraordinary turning point in history.

Reviews

Praise for The Illuminator

"A sweeping portrayal of the distant past…ample in romance, mystery, and adventure.” —The Boston Globe

“A remarkable debut novel.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“An absorbing expertly told tale…embroidered with plenty of homespun detail.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A luminescent and very readable portrait of a dark time in history.” —Booklist

“If you liked The Birth of Venus…you'll love The Illuminator.” —Good Housekeeping.com

"Brenda Rickman Vantrease's The Illuminator is one of the most engaging books I've had the pleasure to read in many years. Extraordinary characters of an extraordinary period in history are portrayed with passion that only an accomplished writer can deliver...This is simply a wonderful book.” —Terry Kay, New York Times bestselling author of The Valley of Light and To Dance With the White Dog

"A wonderful novel---a tumultuous panorama of Wycliffe's and Chaucer's England, with an absolutely compelling and irresistible heroine. This is historical fiction in the grand epic manner, beautifully felt and written.” —Max Byrd, author of Shooting the Sun

“In her elegant novel, The Illuminator, Brenda Rickman Vantrease breathes light into the dark corners of feudal England, laying bare the consequences of political and spiritual oppression, and illuminating the power of both love and the written word to save.” —Charmaine Craig, author of The Good Men: A Novel of Heresy

“A very absorbing and masterfully written novel that twines two stories together---a personal one of life on a manor in 1379 and a political one about the undercurrents that led, eventually, to the Reformation. Impressive new talent Brenda Rickman Vantrease has created a cast of characters that stand out as individuals you want to follow.” —Margaret George, author of The Autobiography of Henry VIII

“Brenda Rickman Vantrease's The Illuminator is one of the most engaging books I've had the pleasure to read in many years. Extraordinary characters of an extraordinary period in history are portrayed with a passion that only an accomplished writer can deliver. . . . This is simply a wonderful book.” —Terry Kay, author of The Valley of Light

“A rich and original debut novel. Brenda Rickman Vantrease writes with a strong voice, imaginative scope, and an audacious reach about complex characters during a fascinating historical period.” —Valerie Miner, author of The Low Road

“The Illuminator is a novel with something for every reader. It has young love, older love, political plot and intrigue, and religious and philosophical conflict presented as grand adventure. . . . Each detail is telling, pitch perfect, important. The relationships are complex, engrossing. Vantrease's feel for time and place is natural. This book absolutely glows.” —Frances Sherwood, author of The Book of Splendor

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Brenda Rickman Vantrease

Brenda Rickman Vantrease lives in Nashville, Tennessee. The Illuminator, her first novel, was a Booksense Pick in hardcover and is being translated into eleven languages.

Brenda Rickman Vantrease

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

Latest on Facebook

LATEST ON TWITTER