The Relic Master: A Novel

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Christopher Buckley’s “hilarious, bawdy, and irreverent frolic of a tale” about a sixteenth-century relic hunter and the artist Albrecht Dürer who conspire to fabricate Christ’s burial shroud reads “like Indiana Jones gone medieval” (USA TODAY).

The year is 1517. Dismas is a relic hunter who procures “authentic” religious relics for wealthy and influential clients. His two most important patrons are Frederick the Wise and soon-to-be Cardinal Albrecht of Mainz. While Frederick is drawn to the recent writing of Martin Luther, Albrecht pursues the financial and political benefits of religion and seeks to buy a cardinalship through the selling of indulgences. When Albrecht’s demands for grander relics increase, Dismas and his artist friend Dürer fabricate a shroud to sell to the unsuspecting noble. Unfortunately Dürer’s reckless pride exposes the trickery, so Albrecht puts Dismas and Dürer in the custody of four mercenaries and sends them all to steal Christ’s burial cloth (the Shroud of Chambéry), Europe’s most celebrated artifact. On their journey to Savoy where the Shroud will be displayed, they battle a lustful count and are joined by a beautiful female apothecary. It is only when they reach their destination they realize they are not alone in their intentions to acquire a relic of dubious legitimacy.

“A rollicking good time, Christopher Buckley has transported his signature wit and irreverence from the Beltway to sixteenth-century Europe in The Relic Master” (GQ). This epic quest, “as rascally and convivial as any that Mr. Buckley has written” (The Wall Street Journal), is filled with fascinating details about art, religion, politics, and science; Vatican intrigue; and Buckley’s signature wit “holds the reader till the very last page” (The New York Times Book Review).


  • RelicMaster 01 Title

    Duration: 37s
  • RelicMaster 02 Rome2017

    Duration: 03min
  • RelicMaster 03 Part1 Ch1

    Duration: 30min
  • RelicMaster 04 Ch2

    Duration: 12min
  • RelicMaster 05 Ch3

    Duration: 26min
  • RelicMaster 06 Ch4

    Duration: 10min
  • RelicMaster 07 Ch5

    Duration: 16min
  • RelicMaster 08 Ch6

    Duration: 13min
  • RelicMaster 09 Ch7

    Duration: 18min
  • RelicMaster 10 Ch8

    Duration: 10min
  • RelicMaster 11 Ch9

    Duration: 15min
  • RelicMaster 12 Ch10

    Duration: 08min
  • RelicMaster 13 Ch11

    Duration: 10min
  • RelicMaster 14 Ch12

    Duration: 05min
  • RelicMaster 15 Ch13

    Duration: 09min
  • RelicMaster 16 Ch14

    Duration: 11min
  • RelicMaster 17 Ch15

    Duration: 14min
  • RelicMaster 18 Ch16

    Duration: 07min
  • RelicMaster 19 Ch17

    Duration: 11min
  • RelicMaster 20 Part2 Ch18

    Duration: 10min
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