The Golden Age of the English Renaissance, Elizabethan England, is one of my very favorite times in history. I love studying about this rich time, and I enjoy historical fiction novels set in this time as well. Therefore, as soon as I saw A Second Daniel by Neal Roberts, I was anxious to dive in.
First, let me preface by saying that the plot of the story is fantastic. The characters are developed and enjoyable. The historical aspects are well-researched and expertly written. I especially enjoyed getting to know the main character, Noah Ames. He is such an honorable, witty and decent human being.
The book begins with said Noah Ames as a Jewish child, (with a different name). Queen Elizabeth takes notice of him, and decides to sponsor his education. The result is that Mr. Ames becomes an extremely well-respected barrister, who just happens to witness a crime after attending a play at The Rose theater. The story goes on from there, weaving mystery with romance, romance with history and history with law, rendering the book difficult to step away from.
There were two aspects to the book that kept tripping me up a little, which prevented me from falling completely head over heels for A Second Daniel:
The first is, there are some modern touches to the story that made me forget on occasion that this plot is set in the Elizabethan Era. It actually leaned a bit more towards the Jacobean Era, in my opinion. Which was a little disappointing, at least for me.
The second was the style that the book was written in. Everything is written in present tense. Almost like a screenplay. For example, (this is not an excerpt from the book), instead if it saying, “The Main Character grabbed the book and sat down to read,” it would say, “The Main Character grabs the book and sits down to read.” A minor thing, to be sure. But it literally kept the pages from flowing freely for me.
Bottom Line: If not masterful, at least enjoyable.
**Thank you to NetGalley and Booktrope for the honor and the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.