“The Bathhouse at Midnight” by W. F. Ryan – here.
I love this book so far. It’s got all the historical facts, the research…everything a history geek like myself would love. And it’s fascinating to read as well. I’ve only read 2.5 chapters (I’m halfway through Chapter 3 at the moment), and it’s excellent. I’ll have to write more concise reviews on the book when I’ve finished reading it.
However, in the meantime, do accept my “fangirling” over this book.
It’s detailed, the sources are well cited. It’s got dozens of references contemporary to the times as well as modern scholarship (modern to writing of the book, which this version was published in 1999). Not to mention, it tells you which Chronicles to read, if you want to read the primary sources. And the citations are wonderful.
I’m reading on the different types of magicians (Chapter 3), at the moment, and it’s fascinating. Not to mention, the use of the Russian words, and explaining the nuances of their meanings and the difficulties in explaining Russian divination and magic in English is fascinating. Also, the comparisons of how the Russian translators translated the texts from other peoples to put them into Russian centuries ago is fascinating. And there is discussion on how the words fitting context of the “learned” or “unlearned” Russians of the time.
All in all, I’m already in love with this book. I’m going to write an actual review when I’ve finished the book. My markings and notations are already quite numerous. This is a book though that I’m going to keep on the shelf.∗