No spoilers. This absolutely lived up to the promise of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and exceeded my expectations. Laini Taylor is a master of lyricalNo spoilers. This absolutely lived up to the promise of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and exceeded my expectations. Laini Taylor is a master of lyrical prose and delayed gratification.
Perfectly enjoyable, but nothing like what I expected from all the glowing reviews. Frankly, I think Susanna Kearsley does this type of paranormal hisPerfectly enjoyable, but nothing like what I expected from all the glowing reviews. Frankly, I think Susanna Kearsley does this type of paranormal historical fiction with some romance better -- while I liked all the characters that the reader was supposed to like, Jamie didn't induce swooning like Kearsley's male characters do, nor did I want to disappear into that world.
One thing that really bothered me was Claire's use of inches as a measurement, and other Americanisms. She's supposed to be English!
All in all, though, it was enjoyable. The historical detail keeps it from being solely a romance novel, but it was also quite long, at times rambling, and there were some seriously disturbing scenes of abuse. I don't think I'll read the next in the series, but one never knows....more
This is the second Susanna Kearsley book I've read (The Winter Sea being the first), and I have to say, so far, they are perfect historic/paranormal/rThis is the second Susanna Kearsley book I've read (The Winter Sea being the first), and I have to say, so far, they are perfect historic/paranormal/romantic escapist fare. Both books have an interesting, intelligent female lead (in this book, the protagonist is an archaeologist), everything is well-researched, and there is usually at least one handsome love interest.
Lest you think, "oh, romance novel," or "oh, ghost book," let me stop you. Yes, romantic tension is a factor in this book (as well as The Winter Sea), but it's a far cry from "heaving alabaster bosoms" and "sword of manhood." Any actual love scenes are more of the "And the hot guy said something really hot, and moved toward her [fade to black]." Similarly, the ghost stories are portrayed through the eyes of a skeptic with a reasonably open mind.
What I really loved about both of these books, but particularly The Shadowy Horses, is the way Kearsley weaves interesting personalities, local lore, history, tools and methods of the trade (be it archaeology or otherwise), and sheer mood alongside the paranormal and romantic aspects. I finished this 400+ page book in several hours because I could not put it down.
The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I thought the ending was a bit lacking -- the climax and denouement came quite suddenly, and because I was on an e-reader, I didn't realize quite how close I was to the end until it happened.
Still, though, I'm ready to go to Scotland and have a wild historical adventure while I stand on a cliff overlooking the ocean and the wind blows through my hair dramatically. To me, that's the mark of a good book: I want to go live in that world....more
A very enjoyable, quick read - I stayed up well past my Old Lady Bedtime to finish it. The premise of living in a world where everyone has been rebornA very enjoyable, quick read - I stayed up well past my Old Lady Bedtime to finish it. The premise of living in a world where everyone has been reborn multiple times with all their past life memories intact is an interesting one, and I think the author does a good job of building this world. So many of the older characters are almost cavalier about dying, because they know they'll come back.
Because Ana is a new soul, however, and replaced someone else, her existence causes an uproar. The moral and philosophical questions Incarnate tackles are compelling, and they're the biggest part of what makes this book so enjoyable.
I also enjoyed the lack of love triangle (yay!), and the very imperfect protagonist. Not all the questions were answered for her, either, and that made for a better ending.
My only complaint was that it was short, and sometimes it felt a little rushed. I see that the author is writing two other books in this series, though, so I'm looking forward to reading how everything plays out. ...more