Noah Gordon has woven a tale of a young man with a special talent for healing, and we are the lucky people who are offered this treasure. Born into squalid poverty in early 11th century London, Rob Cole's quest for medical knowledge takes him, mainly by foot, to far-off Persia - I think today's equivalent journey would be into space.
Gordon has avoided the fake "olde worlde" dialogue and language anachronisms that have caught out so many other writers of historical fiction, and which bring us back into the 21st cenury with a jolt. The result is an exquisitely researched, wonderfully credible, beautifully readable, entirely involving journey of the mind, body and soul. I defy you to put it down until it falls onto your face, when your eyes close with fatigue. The best 20c (at a hospital jumble sale) I've ever spent.
When your eyes have recovered, continue the journey with 'The Shaman', but I found the third book very disappointing and hackneyed after the elegance and beauty of 'The Physician' and the raw, frontier adventure of 'The Shaman'.