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I had to read this Sophomore year of High School. It was very good.
Pierce Moffat is a down-and-out historian who becomes hip to a recurring historical phenomenon, a sort of crossroads in time, when the history of the world could move in an infinite number of directions but ultimately settles on one, its previous history entirely subsumed into the next. His thesis and search center around a lost civilization called Aegypt (not to be confused with Egypt), whose thinkers are founders of the Hermetic tradition that later influenced occultists Giordano Bruno, John Dee, and perhaps even young William Shakespeare. I came to this after reading Francis Yates' wonderful The Art of Memory ; this nonfiction book is the basis for many of Crowley's ideas (Giordano Bruno is particularly central to both). The novel is gorgeously written, intriguing, and absorbing. It's also at times repetitive, indulgent, and needlessly confusing (I'll never understand the Rose/Rosie confusion--how pointless and irritating). But I did something I almost never do (see my "sequels and series to finish" shelf!; Harry Potter 4 through 7 is a notable exception): I went out and immediately purchased and started reading the sequel.