The blurb for The Long Shadow is rather misleading. It talks about the reign of James II as though that forms the bulk of the book, when it's probably The blurb for The Long Shadow is rather misleading. It talks about the reign of James II as though that forms the bulk of the book, when it's probably less than the final hundred pages. Which in a way is nice, as life for all the Morlands and their connections is better under Charles II than under his brother's four-year reign.
I will say this book killed any liking I had left for Annunciata. Yet again there are few really likeable characters in this series: Hugo got on my nerves, and even Elizabeth Hobart (poor dear) couldn't grab me. Annunciata is fascinating, and a wonderful character, but I don't like her, or have much sympathy for her,
I continue to find it fascinating that Harrod-Eagles take on history is so far from my own. Or should that be her take on the contemporary view as events were unfolding? Still, I've always felt quite sorry for both Mary and Anne, and H-E/her characters seem quite the opposite....more
I read this one so quickly (plane trip, among other things) that I feel at a disadvantage now that I'm trying to post about it. Also, because I'm currI read this one so quickly (plane trip, among other things) that I feel at a disadvantage now that I'm trying to post about it. Also, because I'm currently reading "The Long Shadow", which is making me feel *less* inclined to like Annunciata (more on that in my first Long Shadow post) which is sad given that I think I still liked her during The Black Pearl. She just feels a bit... remote, I guess. I'm not sure if it's unfair that in my mind I'm connecting her to various Stephanie Laurens protagonists in my head - these aren't Regency Romances, after all - but somehow Laurens' characters live more to me than Annunciata is doing.
But this could all be my Long Shadow bias speaking.
In terms of history, reading this has certainly sparked off an interest in Civil War/Restoration history that I didn't have before. I've read a little set in this era (only two of the relevant Plaidy's so far), although that does include most of Children of the New Forest, which I've never quite properly finished and which I really should give one more go... ~wanders off to check shelves~ Got it!...more
On the back cover, one of the blurbs (from Family Circle) is something along the lines of "For those of you who like romance with your totalitarian goOn the back cover, one of the blurbs (from Family Circle) is something along the lines of "For those of you who like romance with your totalitarian government". Which is ... interesting.
It probably is better than The Selection, with which I've seen it compared a lot. But part of this is that I don't actually think Matched is from the "Bachelor" stream of dystopia, even though it looks like it should be. It's actually from the "Survivor" stream. I have a blog post about this brewing, even though I don't think it's all that original an idea.
For the moment I'll leave it there. Perhaps once I've worked up my blog post it will all make more sense. ...more
Margaret Atwood did it before you and better than you.
It's not that this isn't an enjoyable book, it's just that it's very definitely derivative, andMargaret Atwood did it before you and better than you.
It's not that this isn't an enjoyable book, it's just that it's very definitely derivative, and I read The Handmaid's Tale in 1995 or 1996, and that's a long time for the absolute brilliant perfection of that particular idea to be in my head.
That said, this book isn't written for people who've read Handmaid's Tale, it's for those who aren't quite there yet. So it probably isn't fair of me to compare.
For me, though, the world building isn't *quite* there. There's so much that could be interesting, but it hasn't quite been developed. And delightful as it is, the Countesses and Ladies and Duchesses and etc, make very little sense, given current politics, the UK no longer having any real cultural influence, etc. ...more
My opening thought - as shared with Twitter - about this book is that Paul, like his father Ned, is a jerk.
I'm at page 385 now, and that opinion hasn'My opening thought - as shared with Twitter - about this book is that Paul, like his father Ned, is a jerk.
I'm at page 385 now, and that opinion hasn't really changed much. I still really dislike Paul and (vague spoiler) I have massive issues with Nanette's taste.
I did love the beginning, and the connections being made with the Parr and Boleyn families, and can see Nanette's childhood connection with Katherine Parr making her time as Queen quite interesting for Nanette. It's an interesting portrayal of Anne Boleyn, too, although I am bristling at the implications being made towards poor Mary Boleyn.
I also have problems with Harrod-Eagles' preface, which says that Henry only ever had two mistresses. 1) That's only counting the ones he didn't eventually marry, and 2) isn't counting Madge Shelton, for at least another one. And it's just being disingenuous.
I don't really want to end up hate-reading this series, but it just galls me. She seems to have taken all my pet peeves and used them in the books so far.
I still like Plaidy better.
Nanette = awesome. Especially for inserting an entirely fictitious character relatively well into real events. Kudos to Harrod-Eagles for not overplaying her hand, and for keeping Nanette's close involvement with the court to only two Queens. Nanette's taste in men = far better at the end of the book than in the middle. I still say that the majority of Morland heirs are utter gits. Young Paul seems to be a little better, though. (No idea if he'll still be alive when I open the next book.)
Religious conservatism of the Morlands: not as well explained/justified as I would have liked. I could have done with the conversation between Nanette and James Chapham on such things going on for another page to actually talk about it instead of just stating the position. H-E's (it's too long to type, I'm lazy today) position seems to be "they're Northern, therefore". Don't know whether this doesn't satisfy me because I'm Protestant, or because I'm not English, or what. But I'd certainly like further explanation - I may get it later on, of course.
H-E does have her favourites, doesn't she? But then so do I, it's just that they're not hers. And on the continuum of Jean Plaidy through to the HBO? Showtime? series The Tudors, H-E isn't all that bad. She doesn't delete an entire line of the family, leaving the kingdom without an eventual heir, for example (I just recently watched all the way through The Tudors. I'm not sure I can manage a blogged rewatch - not for a few years, anyway, but I do want to post something about it here at some point.)...more
This is absolutely gorgeous. Between the obvious links to a television show that shall remain nameless, the delightful knitted mice, and the writing,This is absolutely gorgeous. Between the obvious links to a television show that shall remain nameless, the delightful knitted mice, and the writing, which made me giggle on every page, it's absolutely priceless.
I do rather wish that knitting patterns for the mice were included, but I rather hope that I will be able to work out how to crochet them eventually. :-)
Meanwhile, I strongly hope that there will be more Mouseton Abbey books on the way....more