The Colour of Heaven – James Runcie

I fear that historical novels are never ‘as good’ once you’ve read Dorothy Dunnett….

The plot of this relatively slim volume sounded promising enough – young orphan adopted by glass-making family is sent on a quest for Lapis Lazuli, the pigment that produces ‘the colour of heaven’ – but the telling is just too thin. Runcie skates over the thirteenth century’s scientific discoveries and their dissemination (spectacles) and the pre-Marco Polo travel and trade (travelling from Italy to present-day Afghanistan) with the concomitant meeting of cultures. And as for the love story, wholly unnecessary (unless Runcie is looking to sell the movie rights to Ridley Scott).

Dorothy, do it justice!!

Buy it: Amazon link