A lovely lady called Elsee has posted a review of the Harpist on Amazon. It’s the first review I’ve had. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am: Here it is:
By Book lover “Elsee” (Malvern, UK) – See all my reviewsThis review is from: The Harpist of Madrid (Paperback)
The amount of research in this novel is amazing. It transports one back to the 17th century in Madrid and all the intricacy of the Spanish court of King Philp 1V. Juan Hidalgo is the harpist of Madrid and the book follows his life and career in immense detail. Sometimes the detail is a little too much and a few of the characters introduced could have safely been left out in order to concentrate the story on the main protagonists, a common fault with historical novels where the research becomes so exhilarating the author doesn’t want to leave anything out! Yet it is all so fluently described that one feels oneself to be a part of Juan’s life and family. I loved them, loved their characters, their warmth, their quarrels, their many and varied love escapades. Juan’s brother, Franceso, is a sublime and amusing character. His fame as a lover, due to certain interesting physical attributes, is humorously and yet matter-of-factedly described. Though the sex scenes are very graphic, they are never gratuitous, always in place and have a sense of naturalness and kindness about them. Juan himself is a faithful and loving husband and the tenderness and warmth of his married life is beautifully and touchingly described.
It’s a period of which I knew little but feel I now know a good deal. Gordon Thomas really does create the atmosphere of Spain in the 17th century and at times the book has the feel of one of the superb stories of Blasco Ibanez.