13 June 2017

Review: THE BUNTING QUEST, Steven Marcuson

  • this edition published by Hybrid Publishers 2016
  • ISBN 978-1-925272-15-4
  • 276 pages
  • Source: my local library
Synopsis (publisher)

Two compelling adventures, set hundreds of years apart, come together in this breathtaking page-turner that reveals mankind’s greatest secret.

‘When Bunting drew this in 1581, absolutely no one in the world could have known what the coast of Western Australia looked like …’

Nick Lawrance, an antique map dealer, is shocked to find his gallery has been burgled. However, this isn’t an ordinary robbery: the thieves have ignored priceless maps and have only taken Bunting’s World Map. All of a sudden, Nick is thrown into a four-hundred-year religious mystery where strange people around him will do anything for this map … even kill for it. Nick has to figure out why, before it’s too late.

Thrilling and steeped in dark history, The Bunting Quest is inspired by a real-life map that displays the Australian coastline many years before its ‘discovery’. Here, two compelling adventures, set hundreds of years apart, come together in this breathtaking page-turner that reveals mankind’s greatest secret.

My Take

My main interest in this novel was generated by the links in the plot to the history of Western Australia. The author tells readers in a note in the last pages that the story is based partly on actual people and events, and partly on fiction.

It seems quite logical that the early European explorers of the islands to the north of Australia should also have explored the coast of Western Australia.  I prefer to think about deliberate exploration rather than espouse to just "blown off course". That they didn't continue on to establishing settlements was more likely due to the arid nature of the land as well as the fact that it seemed so sparsely populated, and had little to offer trading nations.

Other reviewers have commented on the plot similarities between this novel and those of Dan Brown. There is a certain amount of plausibility to the plot, but perhaps credibility is a little stretched by the idea of a quest to bury an object that could overturn the beliefs of the Catholic Church.

Nevertheless an interesting read.

My rating: 4.4

About the author
Steven Marcuson was born 1959 and raised in Glasgow, Scotland into a small but vibrant Jewish community. He received a BSc from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, majoring in textiles and marketing. Prior to immigrating to Australia in 1983, he volunteered for a year on a kibbutz in Israel and backpacked extensively throughout Europe, working as he went. In late 1983 he established Trowbridge Gallery, an antique print and map gallery in Perth which he runs to this day. That same year he met Miriam and together they have three children, two now living in Melbourne and one at home. His interests include playing blues and jazz guitar, reading books on history and historical literature and spending time with his family. You can check out his website here.

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